Quadriplegic Man Gets $2.2 Million Award in Bedsore Case

  Last week New York’s Lower Hudson Valley Journal News reported that a jury ordered Westchester Medical Center to pay $2.2 million to Eric Trainor, a quadriplegic man who got serious bedsore injuries while staying at the Valhalla hospital after a car wreck in 2005.

Trainor, a 30-year-old former construction work, was awarded the $2.2 million for pain and suffering following a civil trial in the state Supreme Court.

Trainor’s attorney Raymond Keegan said that the hospital failed to turn Trainor every two hours during his six-week stay. Dr. Francis Baccay failed to ensure proper care, said Keegan. As a result, Trainor developed stage IV bedsores on his lower back and buttocks.

"They were all the way down to the bone," Keegan said. "They were huge."

The bedsores had to be surgically closed, and Trainor suffered from ensuing pain for years. He now lives with his parents in Massachusetts.

The bed sores delayed Trainor’s physical rehabilitation to such an extent the he lost his change to build up upper-body strength, his attorney said.

Trainor was on his way to a construction job with another construction worker in 2005 when their car skidded on ice and crashed. After the accident, he was taken to Westchester Medical Center with a spinal cord injury. He could move his head, neck, and shoulders but not much else. Due to the nature of his injuries, Trainor could not feel the bedsores as they developed.

Westchester Medical Center did not have a comment on the award, saying only that they do not comment on litigation.

The $2.2 million award will help Trainor buy a battery-powered wheelchair, a special van, and provide for his three young children. The jury trial lasted seven days.

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are lesions caused by constant pressure or friction. Bedsores are common among quadriplegics, paraplegics, and other injury victims who have lost movement and feeling. Bedsores are easily treated and prevented if found early (by turning the patient every two hours), but they can become deadly if they are not treated.

Stage I bedsores involve irritation and redness of the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. Stage II bedsores occur when the epidermis is damaged or blistered. Stage III bedsores involve the full thickness of the skin and may extend below the subcutaneous layer; these bedsores may take a long time to heal, and they may be much worse than their surface appearance. Stage IV bedsores, like those suffered by Trainor, are the deepest lesions; they extend into muscle, tendon, and sometimes even bone. Stage IV bedsores take a long time to heal, and many of them never heal completely.

At MLN Law, our Georgia personal injury attorneys have worked for many spinal cord injury victims. We are familiar with the special needs and unique hardships faced by spinal cord injury victims. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to negligence, call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.