HUNTINGTON - A mother is suing Diversicare Rose Terrace LLC after she claims she fell as a result of her employment and her infant son was born two months premature.
Diversicare is doing business as Rose Terrace Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Dee Atkins, the administrator of Rose Terrace, and Linda Maul, the Director of Nursing of Rose Terrance, were also named as defendants in the suit.
On March 7, Desiree Chapman was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant during a night shift at the defendant's nursing home and was scheduled to work from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the following day on Whistle Lane., according to a complaint filed Sept. 13 in Cabell Circuit Court.
Chapman claims Whistle Lane was at full capacity during the night shift and there were between 35 and 40 residents on Whistle Lane during the night shift.
Only one registered nurse and one certified nursing assistant were working in the Light House unit during the night shift and between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., the fire alarm went off in the nursing home, according to the suit.
Chapman claims all exit doors automatically unlocked as a result of the firm alarm and the nursing home failed to schedule any staff during the night shift that could re-lock the exit doors that automatically unlocked as a result of the firm alarm.
No one was present during the night shift that possessed the ability to re-lock the exit doors following the fire alarm and Registered Nurse Tonya Runyon called Maul to request assistance due to being understaffed in the emergency situation and the inability to provide adequate security for residents, according to the suit.
Chapman claims Maul did not come to the nursing home to provide assistance and failed to accept responsibility for responding reasonably to the emergency situation.
Runyon called Atkins to request assistance and Atkins also failed to provide assistance and advised Runyon to contact Victor Close, a maintenance man, for assistance, according to the suit.
Chapman claims Runyon contacted other employees for assistance, however no staff members arrived in response to the phone calls and the fire department arrived and deactivated the sounding of the fire alarm, but was unable to re-lock the exit doors.
Due to the next scheduled CNA being late for her shift, Chapman remained at work past 7 a.m. and at approximately 7:15 a.m., Chapman was seated at the charting station completing her charting, when she observed a resident proceeding through an exit door that had been unlocked by the fire alarm and immediately got up and started running to prevent the resident from leaving, as the exit door was approximately four to five feet from automobile traffic, according to the suit.
Chapman claims while running, she fell to the ground as she approached the door and was injured.
At the time of the fall, Chapman was seven months pregnant and suffered severe injuries in her fall, including stomach contusions and separated placenta, according to the suit.
Chapman claims doctors at the hospital determined she suffered from a 75 percent placenta abruption and on March 9, doctors performed an emergency cesarean section delivery of her child due to injuries sustained in her fall.
Bentley Chapman spent six and one-half weeks in the neo-natal intensive care unit after being born prematurely, according to the suit, and Desiree Chapman was advised it is probable that her son will have developmental defects due to the premature delivery.
Desiree Chapman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by James D. McQueen Jr. and Amanda Davis of McQueen Davis PLLC.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.
Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-676