Our Cooper City nursing home abuse attorneys know that for the vast majority of our clients, these cases aren’t about the money.
Victims ofnursing home abuse – and their families – want justice. They want to make sure those who perpetuated the abuse are punished. They want to make sure other families and elderly relatives don’t endure what they have.
And even when nursing home abuse litigation nets high penalties and damages against the offending company, that victory is often bittersweet. It often comes at the high price of someone you love having suffered.
However, those kinds of victories also mean that the nursing home, if it stays in business, will be more closely watched and will have those penalties hanging over their heads if at any point they decide again to slip on standards of care.
A recent case out of Colorado was one such victory. It happened in La Junta, where the family of a man who died from complications from infected bedsores was awarded $3.2 million.
One bedsore, in particular, was the size of a baseball.
If you are not familiar with bedsores, you should be if you have a relative in a nursing home. They are also sometimes called pressure ulcers or pressure sores. They are basically injuries to the skin and the tissue underneath that are caused by extended pressure on the skin. A lot of times, they develop on ankles, heels, hips and buttocks.
Usually in a nursing home setting, bedsores are caused because people lack the ability to change positions. They may have a condition that has rendered them bedridden or bound to a wheelchair.
It’s often worse for patients who can’t verbalize when they are in pain. Bedsores, in addition to being incredibly painful, can be deadly. They can cause joint and bone infections, muscle deterioration, gangrene, sepsis, cancer and yes, death. In some cases, limbs must be amputated in order to prevent the spread of infection.
This is not a minor problem, and it also, sadly, is not an uncommon one either.
In this case, the male patient was admitted to the nursing home back in the spring of 2009. Prior to that, he had worked as a janitor there.
At first, he was able to walk himself to and from the cafeteria, as long as he had some assistance. But then Parkinson’s kept him bed-bound. He also stopped drinking and eating and became largely unresponsive.
Then in the fall of 2010, an employee confided in the patient’s son about awful bedsores that had developed on the patient’s buttocks and scrotum. She said there were infected and smelled. She was worried that she might be fired for the disclosure, but also worried that her patient would die if she didn’t say something.
The son then insisted that his father be transferred to a hospital. Nursing home staff protested, but the son eventually won out. Doctors there determined he was badly malnourished and dehydrated. He soon died of complications from the bedsores.
When inspectors with the state’s health department later came to inspect the nursing home, they found nearly 30 deficiencies there, including a large number of patients suffering from untreated infections.
If you or a loved one have suffered from nursing home abuse in Cooper City, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez for legal assistance. 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.