KEOSAUQUA — Plaintiffs in a suit against an area nursing home have accused the defendants of dragging their heels in providing required information.
The case involves the family of Mary Sprouse, who died after a fall at the Good Samaritan Society’s facility in Van Buren County. It wasn’t Sprouse’s first fall. In fact, a state report concluded Sprouse fell dozens of times before her death.
Sprouse’s family says the facility was negligent and that it failed to take appropriate steps to protect her. Good Samaritan says it fulfilled its responsibilities to her.
The current issue is discovery, the process by which the sides involved in a court case investigate and gain additional information. The plaintiffs said the facility “has failed to provide discovery responses, which were initially due more than seven weeks ago.” Those delays forced cancellation of some depositions in the case.
Depositions are when potential witnesses answer questions about the case under oath but outside of court proceedings. Depositions are used to gain additional information, and can be used to challenge a witness’ statements in court.
An update filed earlier this month shows the family wasn’t satisfied with the answers Good Samaritan eventually provided, calling them “incomplete and deficient.”
But the dispute may not be settled by a judge. The July filing includes the note that both sides have scheduled mediation for Aug. 6, 2014. Both agreed that process is the first resort for settling disputes about discovery, rather than immediately seeking court orders.
A jury trial is scheduled for July 27, 2015.