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LELA M. KERN, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF OLIVIA P. WALKER, DECEASED AND LELA M. KERN INDIVIDUALLY v. GULF COAST NURSING HOME OF MOSS POINT

FEBRUARY 18, 1987

LELA M. KERN, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF OLIVIA P. WALKER, DECEASED AND LELA M. KERN INDIVIDUALLY
v.
GULF COAST NURSING HOME OF MOSS POINT, INC.



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, P.J., AND PRATHER AND ANDERSON, JJ.,

ANDERSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Appellant brought suit in the Circuit Court of Jackson County for personal injuries and wrongful death and appeals here alleging certain discovery violations and inadequacy of the amount of damages awarded.

We find no such violation of the discovery rules, nor do we find grounds for holding the award inadequate. The ruling of the trial court is affirmed.

 Mrs. Olivia P. Waller, the decedent, was admitted to Gulf Coast Nursing Home on March 10, 1982. A summary

 of the February 26, 1982, and March 6, 1982, evaluations by her attending physician Robert McBroom, described her condition as follows: Mrs. Waller has had three major cerebrovascular accidents (strokes) affecting both sides of her body - secondary to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease; is completely bedridden; can't move at all and can only move her eyes around; can't speak and can hardly swallow; going downhill and in the process of trying to die; has diet-controlled diabetes mellitus, is dehydrated; has essential hypertension; is on medication for bladder infection and nausea; rehabilitation at his point is nil.

 On March 19, 1982, (nine days after admission), a nurse's assistant at the nursing home, attempted to give Mrs. Waller a whirlpool bath as part of her prescribed treatment. Mrs. Waller was taken to the whirlpool room in a rolling device similar to a wheelchair that was to be connected to a hydraulic lifting unit which would lift the patient and place her into the whirlpool. In connecting the seat to the lift, the aide apparently failed to properly secure the latches. As a result, while in the process of lifting Mrs. Waller, the seat became disconnected and Mrs. Waller, fell to the floor, striking her head and breaking her left hip. Mrs. Waller was immediately taken to Singing River Hospital where surgery was performed to replace the broken bone in her hip with a prosthetic device -a metal ball with a long stem on it.

 Mrs. Waller incurred medical expenses totalling approximately $8,000 as a result of her injury.

 Mrs. Waller was released from Singing River Hospital on April 9, 1982, and readmitted to Gulf Coast Nursing Home.

 On May 16, 1982, Mrs. Waller was again returned to Singing River Hospital where she was diagnosed as having pneumonia, sepsis, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, and severe hypotension. Mrs. Waller died there on May 17, 1982.

 This suit was filed by the decedent's daughter individually and in her capacity as administratrix of the estate seeking a total of $4,000,000 in actual and punitive damages. The jury, after hearing testimony in the matter, returned a verdict finding that the decedent's injuries were not the proximate cause of her death and awarded $20,000 as actual and compensatory damages. Appellant now alleges error in the pre-trial discovery procedure and inadequacy in the amount of damages awarded.

 I.

 DID THE TRIAL COURT ERR IN PERMITTING THE TESTIMONY OF DEFENDANT'S OCCURENCE AND EXPERT WITNESSES OVER THE OBJECTION OF PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL THAT THE NAMES OF THE OCCURRENCE AND EXPERT WITNESSES WERE NOT PROVIDED PRIOR TO TRIAL.

 Appellant's original complaint was filed on August 16, 1983, alleging personal injuries and wrongful death as a result of the negligent and tortious conduct of the appellee resulting in decedent's fall. Appellant requested on behalf of the estate $100,000 actual and compensatory damages and $100,000 punitive damages; appellant individually requested $100,000 actual and compensatory damages and $100,000 punitive damages for wrongful death.

 On June 13, 1984, appellant filed a motion to amend adding the charge that the appellee was grossly and culpably negligent in failing to adequately and properly hire and train personnel and that such resulted in the decedent's injuries and death. Total ...


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