Legal Perspective: Employee’s Alleged Use of Soiled Scissors Results in Real Harm

A home care client suffered infection and leg amputation after an employee allegedly trimmed dead skin off the client's foot with rusty scissors that had been used to cut off a soiled diaper. In a lawsuit brought against the agency and the employee, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, has affirmed denial of the agency's motion for summary judgment, allowing the suit to continue.

The employee used rusty scissors to cut the client's soiled diapers, then used the same scissors to cut dead skin off the client's foot, according to the allegations. The client suffered a foot wound, which became infected. Ultimately, the client required an above-the-knee amputation.

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Topics: Risk Management

Service and Support Animals: What Policy Is Right for Your Organization?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals with disabilities must be allowed to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of a place of public accommodation. ADA requires healthcare facilities, as places of public accommodation, to modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability unless the presence of the animal would compromise health or safety standards, such as in the operating room.

A facility may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises only if any of the following conditions apply:

  • The animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it.
  • The animal is not housebroken.
  • The animal is properly excluded.
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Topics: Risk Management

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