Paralyzed Man Suffers Burns on His Hands from Scalding Water

hand burns from hot waterParalyzed by a cervical spine injury, and left with little movement and sensation in his extremities, Mr. W relies on the assistance of home care professionals to help him with activities of daily living.

On July 17, 2012, Mr. W’s home care nurse, who works for Preferred Providers, Inc., wanted to clean his fingernails.  The nurse placed Mr. W’s left hand into a bowl of scalding hot water, and left it there for at least 20 minutes, without checking on him.  Knowing that Mr. W had limited sensation in his hands, the nurse should have ensured that the temperature of the water was not too hot, and should have checked on him while his hand was submerged.  As a result of the nurse’s negligence, Mr. W suffered second and third-degree burns to his hand and fingers.

When the nurse finally removed Mr. W’s hand from the scalding water, she discovered his palm and all of his fingers were swollen and blistered.  Mr. W was taken to a nearby hospital.  Physicians there decided Mr. W should be treated at Detroit Receiving Hospital’s Burn Unit because of the severity of his burns.

Mr. W continued to receive treatment for his wounds through the outpatient clinic, and at home.  For months, Mr. W required wound dressings, skin assessments, splinting, and range of motion exercises.  Despite the months of care, Mr. W’s hand was so disfigured and scarred from the burns that it forced his hand to contract and close up.  Mr. W lost what little mobility he did have in his left hand, and is no longer able to operate his motorized wheelchair.

Jules Olsman and Stephanie Arndt have filed suit on behalf of Mr. W, against Preferred Providers, Inc., employer the negligent home care nurse who injured Mr. W.