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MI: nurse supervisor had felony convictions: tendercare home neither tender nor caring.

CASE FACTS: Naum DeZacks was a patient at Tendercare, Inc. Registered Nurse Georgia Shaft was a supervisor at the facility responsible for formulating his care plan. Nurse Shaft had several felony convictions that prohibited her from working in a supervisory position at a nursing home. On August 15, 2000, the patient went into cardiac arrest and died. The patient's estate brought suit against Tendercare and Whispering Way Care Services, Inc., alleging that the patient was on "full code" status, which required prompt medical treatment in case of a cardiac event. The plaintiff alleged that no one at Tendercare attempted to revive the patient, nor was any call made to emergency services. In addition to alleging that Tendercare was negligent in failing to provide adequate diagnosis and care of the patient at the time in question, the plaintiff alleged that Tendercare was negligent in failing to advise its employees of the code status of its patients, in placing Shaft in a supervisory position, and in failing to adequately train its employees. Plaintiff further alleged that Tendercare was negligent in screening, training and supervising its employees. The Ingham Circuit Court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff appealed.

COURT'S OPINION: The Court of Appeals of Michigan affirmed the judgment of the lower court. The court treated the case as one for medical malpractice and seized upon the fact that the plaintiff had failed to provide the expert medical testimony necessary to prevail in medical malpractice cases. Editor's Note: Not all courts would have agreed with either the judgment of the lower court or the affirmation of that judgment by the appellate court particularly as to the plaintiff's allegations as to the defendants '.failure to screen its employees before hiring them. One judge concurred in part with the majority opinion but would have reversed and remanded the case for trial regarding the plaintiff's allegations of failure to screen employees. Noting that Nurse Shaft had multiple felony convictions, which resulted in restrictions on her nursing license. Placing Nurse Shaft in a supervisory capacity over the decedent's care was in violation and contrary to the restrictions on her license. The dissenting judge opined that this was clearly in violation of Michigan law. The dissenting judge noted that the plaintiff's claim regarding the hiring and placement of Nurse Shaft did not involve medical judgment requiring expert medical testimony. The dissenting judge concluded that a could determine that the defendants" were negligent. Tendercare's treatment was neither tender nor caring. DeZacks v. Tendercare, Inc., 2005 WL788077 N.W.2d -MI

Meet the Editor & Publisher: A. David Tammelleo, JD, is a nationally recognized authority on health care law. Practicing law for over 40 years, he concentrates in health care law with the Rhode Island firm of A. David Tammelleo & Associates. He has presented seminars on medical, nursing and hospital law throughout the United States. In addition to his writings as Editor of Medical Law's, Nursing Laws & Hospital Law's Regan Reports, his legal articles have been published in the most prestigious health law journals. A prolific writer, his thousands of articles, as well as his achievements as an attorney and lecturer, have won him recognition in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Marquis Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
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Title Annotation:Michigan, Georgia Shaft, Tendercare Inc.,
Author:Tammelleo, A. David
Publication:Nursing Law's Regan Report
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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