In 1995 as I managed the adult day care program I proudly owned with my mom I was sued by a program participant’s son. He alleged his mom fell in our center and as a result fractured her hip. I immediately questioned my staff once we were served, in addition to turning over the complaint to our insurance company. My staff told me there was no way this lady could have fallen. She needed help to ambulate and even during bathroom trips, my personnel were never more than a few feet away.
Next I questioned my drivers to ascertain if she had fallen in the van en-route to the center. Their response floored me. They advised me that this client’s son – not the one who brought the suit – told them mom had fallen off the sofa that morning. So what was my real mistake? My drivers, instead of leaving her home and telling the son to promptly get her to medical care, brought her to the center. Perhaps this son’s whole intention was questionable at best since he made the admission while only one of the drivers was in earshot as his helper was out at the vehicle. This would make it easier for him to back away from it later.
Pressed under oath he had to admit what happened and the lawsuit was subsequently dismissed in arbitration.
Sometimes when we discuss transportation safety we think about being sure to check driving records, teaching defensive driving, drug testing personnel or ensuring safe vehicle operation. Hopefully this story reminds all that there is much more to the subject with 5 more items alone that may not be in the typical curriculum addressed in our transportation safety course. Click here for the entire catalog.
Taking preparedness seriously could save you tons of grief. No matter what resources you use to prepare transportation staff its a process we cannot ignore.