A jury in Colorado has awarded the family of a former patient $5.5 million in damages – which included $5 million in punitive damages – following the death of a patient in 2013, just six months after she was admitted.
Attorneys who represented her family announced in a press release the record-setting award in that county, which was based on the fact that her death was reportedly preceded by months of repeated abuse and neglect. The damage award was imposed against both defendants, the nursing home itself and its corporate parent, Life Care Centers of America, Inc. In Florida, there are more than two dozen nursing homes owned by this same corporation, including two in Orlando and one in West Palm Beach.
The press release asserted this was a company that, like so many others, put profits ahead of patient care. There with issues with poor care, gaps in charting and staffing shortages – all of which resulted in a fatal outcome for decedent, plaintiff’s mother.
The claim alleges plaintiff was 77-years-old when she was admitted to the facility in April 2013. Over the course of the next several months, she reportedly suffered numerous serious infections and pressure sores. There also bruises that couldn’t be explained over half her body. It was also revealed she was dehydrated and malnourished. At one point, when she was rushed to the hospital, the staff there informed her family that her infection stemmed from the fact that dried feces was packed into her vagina. Family members testified they would often arrive to find their mother lying in her own feces or urine. One of her daughters testified she arrived one day to find her naked from the waist down, covered in her own feces and suffering from a bed sore on her tailbone.
She repeatedly had bouts of pneumonia, urinary tract infections, kidney infections and dehydration that was so severe, she had to be hospitalized.
Her family members were at the center almost daily, and stepped in to bathe her because the nursing home did not have enough staff to complete the task for which it was paid.
Jurors reviewed reports from the state publish health department, which had cited the center repeatedly for violating basic standards of care. These violations were directly related to the kinds of injuries decedent suffered. The health and safety inspections as detailed by the state agency for the last three years include:
- 24 reports of physical abuse
- 2 reports of patients suffering brain injuries
- 1 report of a patient who died after falling out of bed
This lawsuit was the third filed against this same facility for nursing home abuse and neglect.
One of the others, filed in October 2014, alleged decedent suffered multiple falls (one resulting in a broken arm) UTIs, dehydration, malnutrition, bowel obstruction, bed sores, inadequate blood sugar leading to a diabetic coma and death – all while a patient at this same facility.
In the second case, decedent allegedly suffered a painful bed sore on her buttocks that went untreated and ultimately led to her death.
It is not surprising that we would see a pattern of cases at the same facility. It is nonetheless unacceptable, and our dedicated team of Boca Raton nursing home abuse attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of you and your loved ones.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Jury Awards $5.5 Million in Suit Against Pueblo Nursing Home, May 16, 2016, by Andy Koen, KOAA NBC-5
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Possible Sun Exposure Death Investigated at Florida Nursing Home, May 2, 2016, Boca Raton Nursing Home Lawyer Blog