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Lawyer: Inova reaches settlement in case involving stroke patient’s death

Inova HealthPlex in Lorton (via Google Maps)

Nonprofit health care system Inova has agreed to settle a lawsuit involving a nurse who failed to monitor a Lorton patient as stroke protocol required, according to a plaintiff’s attorney.

The case involved a 72-year-old woman who suffered a stroke in 2019 and brain bleed in 2020. She was cared for at the Inova Healthplex in Lorton but fell onto the floor when she walked to the bathroom without a nurse, according to Fairfax County Circuit Court documents.

After her fall, she was immediately rushed to Inova’s Fairfax Hospital trauma intensive care unit that day, but she died after being in a coma for a week, according to the complaint.

The complaint said stroke protocol requires that a patient not be allowed out of bed unassisted. Filed in November 2020 by the patient’s sister, acting as the administrator of her estate, the suit sought $3 million in damages.

A month later, a Fairfax lawyer for Inova, Brian Sanderson, repeatedly suggested that sections of the legal complaint were incomplete and misleading. A later statement appeared to conflict with those arguments.

“Inova, acting through its employee nurse, was negligent with respect to its care and treatment of (individual) while she was a patient at Inova Healthplex Lorton on February 2, 2020,” Sanderson said in a statement filed Feb. 16, 2022.

The complaint also alleged the health system failed to treat the brain bleed in a timely manner, but the health care system rejected that statement.

Inova didn’t respond by publication time to a message seeking comment about its stroke protocols in light of the death.

The plaintiff’s attorney declined to provide the terms of the settlement. The case is slated to return to court on March 18 for a hearing, where the court would approve the settlement.

Photo via Google Maps

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