A nurse, who sustained back and nerve injuries after being left alone to care for fifty residents of an Australian nursing home, has been awarded AU 500,000 dollars in nursing home injury compensation by the Supreme Court in Victoria.
Margaret Pozzobon (58) from Nanawading in Melbourne sustained the injuries in February 2006 when she was the only member of staff rostered to work a night shift at the Wantirna Aged Care Facility. Among those left in her care was a resident diagnosed with bipolar disorder who would strip his bed, lie on the floor and have to be picked up and returned to his bed six times a night.
The resident, although classified as needing high grade care had been placed in a low grade care facility due to a lack of beds and, while in the course of lifting him back into bed, Margaret sustained a serious injury to her cervical spine which required surgery, nerve blocks and ongoing spinal injections. Due to her injury, Margaret was unable to continue working at the nursing home and has been unable to find work since because of her disability.
After seeking legal advice, Margaret made a spinal injury compensation claim against the nursing home, alleging that her injury could have been prevented had the resident suffering from bipolar disorder been managed in the appropriate facility. The nursing home contested her claim but, after an eight day trial at the Supreme Court in Victoria, a jury found in Margaret´s favour and awarded her AU 500,000 dollars in nursing home injury compensation.