Woman falls off lift, sues

By John O'Brien | Aug 16, 2006

HUNTINGTON - A Huntington woman blames the Aged and Disabled Waiver Services Program for her fall while being transported on a lift.

Elizabeth Davis says Melanie Whisman and Pro Careers caused the fall in a lawsuit filed Aug. 9 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The ADWSP provides nursing care assistance to the homes of those who qualify. On March 18, 2005, Davis says she was bedridden because of her multiple sclerosis when Whisman showed up.

"Elizabeth Davis was being transferred in a Hoyer Lift when Defendant Melanie Whisman pulled on the hem of a gown being worn by …Davis, causing… Davis to fall to the hard floor and suffer injuries," the complaint says.

Davis says she suffered acute fractures to at least three vertebrae and a head injury.

"Defendant Melanie Whisman negligently breached her duty to act as a reasonable, prudent person while providing homemaker services to Plaintiffs," the complaint says.

Jessie Davis is also a plaintiff on the lawsuit, though the complaint does not state why.

Chad Lovejoy of Huntington law firm Duffield and Lovejoy is representing the Davises.

Judge David Pancake has been assigned the case.

The ADWSP is the focus in another recently filed case. A class action suit in Kanawha Circuit Court against the state's Department of Health and Human Resources alleges the restrictions placed on those who qualify for the program were unconstitutional.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 06-C-576

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