Georgia appellate court decides patient/plaintiffs do not have to allow defense counsel ex parte meetings with doctors, but what about GA workers' comp claimants?
On August 28th, a nursing home employee noticed a pressure wound on Mrs. Ehrlich's right buttock. Mrs. Ehrlich's daughter, Barbara Woods, requested that Ms. Ehrlich be transported to a hospital on September 2nd; there a doctor examined Mrs. Ehrlich, treated her and released her. Two days later a home health care company called Staff Builders was contracted to provide nurses that would monitor and care for Mrs. Ehrlich's wound on-site at the nursing home.
Over the course of the next two months, the pressure wound became large, deep and infected, all while Mrs. Ehrlich's mental and physical health rapidly deteriorated. On October 3, Mrs. Ehrlich was examined at another hospital's wound treatment center, then immediately transferred and admitted to yet another hospital because of her wound's severity. It was classed as a 'large Stage IV Decubitis ulcer' and was so deep that Mrs. Ehrlich's sacrum bone was visible. Mrs. Ehrlich required debridement surgery and antibiotic therapy, which she did not respond well to. On November 5th she was discharged from the hospital and transferred to the home of a family member where she received hospice care until dying on November 15th.
In July of 2010, the deceased woman's children -Barbara Woods, Howard Ehrlich, and Kenneth Ehrlich--brought suit against Emeritus Corporation, et al. (the owners of the nursing home) and Tender Loving Health Care Services of Georgia, et al. (the parent company for Staff Builders), saying that Emeritus was liable for the negligence of their mother's caretakers, both on-staff and hired in. They also asserted that the nursing home knew that their mother required a transfer so as to receive a better level of care, and alleged violations of state and federal laws dealing with nursing home operations and patients' rights.