On Monday, November 26, trial starts in the matter of Rashauna Kirkland v. Harmony Home Health, #140901757 (Third District Court for Salt Lake County, Salt Lake Division) before Judge Keith Kelly. It’s expected to last six days.

Nedra Kirkland was a 74-year old woman suffering from dementia and a neurogenic bladder, requiring the use of a catheter. She was under the care of defendant, a home health service, to assist in her needs. According to the complaint, in September 2011 Nedra began developing symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Her heirs allege a delay on obtaining the necessary urine culture, and that when the culture was finally obtained, a further delay in reporting the worrisome results to her treating physician so that antibiotics might be started. This, it is alleged, led to her death from urosepsis a week later.

Both negligence and causation are disputed by Harmony Health. There was an interesting motion in limine to exclude the results of an investigation conducted by HealthInsights (a CMS-contracted care review company). (Plaintiff’s opposition memorandum.) Judge Kelly granted this motion.

Plaintiff’s counsel: Jared Stubbs and Stephanie O’Brien of MacArthur Heder Metler, Provo.

Defense counsel: Greg SandersPatrick Burt, and David Garner of Kipp & Christian, Salt Lake City.