Physical Therapist Sued by Patient for Fall

A Louisiana woman is suing a physical therapist and clinic after she allegedly was allowed to fall and injure herself while in their care, necessitating two surgeries and several months of being bedridden.

As reported in The Louisiana Record, Cornelia Degenova, and husband Thomas, filed suit against Craig Dautrieve and Orthopedic & Sports Therapy of Kenner Inc.
on Aug. 22.

Degenova contends that on Aug. 23, 2013 she suffered a fall that resulted in a fractured kneecap and on Aug. 27, 2013 she underwent surgery and afterward began physical therapy with Dautrieve and Orthopedic & Sports Therapy of Kenner.

The plaintiff asserts that on Sept. 30, her first day of physical therapy, the New Orleans Saints were playing on television and the staff and other patients created something of a “party atmosphere.”

Degenova alleges she had not walked at all since the surgery, and at her first physical therapy appointment was placed on a stair master, causing her leg to quiver and spasm. Dautrieve did not pay much attention to it, and when she was asked to walk on the floor she fell and again fractured her knee cap and tore a tendon that had also been repaired in the surgery. The plaintiff claims she had to undergo two additional surgeries due to the incident.

The defendant is accused of failing to develop and implement appropriate protocol, failing to follow physician’s orders, failing to properly tend to the plaintiff, failing to assist the plaintiff in walking, failing to maintain a professional atmosphere, failing to recognize the plaintiff had been non-load bearing prior to her first session and employing an overly aggressive first physical therapy session.

Damages in the amount of $26,000 for the two additional surgeries plus damages for being bedridden for several months, as well as the plaintiff being confined to the first floor of her home, inability to climb stairs, trainer costs and for being unable to drive are sought by Degenova.