Lake Worth Manor, the Florida nursing home that late last year was ordered to pay $2 million to the family of a patient who died due to staffers’ neglect, has been denied an appeal requesting a new trial.
Our Lake Worth nursing home abuse lawyers are familiar with many instances of negligence on behalf of facilities all over the state – and this was truly one of the worst.
The Manor Care nursing home, operated by Lake Worth Enterprises, has even moved to further distance itself from the incident by changing its name – from Lake Worth Manor to Oasis.
The patient in question suffered numerous diseases and by the time of his death, had to be treated by four different facilities for severe complications.
The case gained notoriety because the patient was George Dahmer, a former Boynton Beach resident best known for his 32 years as a professional wrestler known as “Chief White Owl.” He died a horrible death in the spring of 2008, following egregious and neglectful treatment by Manor nursing home employees.
Court documents revealed that Dahmer was first admitted to the home five years ago, after he was hospitalized amid increasing bouts of dementia. Soon after he arrived, the 72-year old began to decline – rapidly. In two months, he lost more than 30 pounds. He suffered from severe dehydration. He entered as a man who communicated well and had no need for a wheelchair. However, it wasn’t long before he had lost his ability to both walk and talk.
His false teeth were lost by staffers who never even attempted to replace them. With no one acting to appropriately turn or bathe him, he began to suffer severe skin infections. Ulcers began to form on his heels and tailbone. These sores were visible down to the bone. He was literally rotting away before staffers’ eyes – and they did nothing to stop it.
By the time he was eventually transferred to a different location, at his wife’s behest, the infections were so bad that doctors were considering a dual amputation of both feet. However, Dahmer was in such bad shape that his body couldn’t even withstand the stress of a feeding tube.
He died shortly thereafter.
In November, a jury sided with the Dahmer’s family after a week-long trial, and awarded his widow nearly $2 million.
However, the nursing home facility promised to fight that verdict, saying his condition was the result of complex medical issues – not their negligence. The agency filed a motion for a new trial, but the judge has since struck down that request.
Manor Care says it is continuing to explore its legal avenues to try to avoid simply paying Dahmer’s family for not only the horror that he endured, but for what they had to witness and the immense hole his loss has left in their hearts.
Meanwhile, his family is channeling their sorrow into action, having founded an online petition with the goal of pushing nursing home reform in Florida. So far, www.chiefwhiteowlwon.com has collected almost 2,000 signatures, according to The Palm Beach Post.
His daughter has been quoted as saying that the ordeal has been arduous and difficult, but they take some solace in the support they have received from other families seeking change – families who have no doubt endured similar pain and trouble.
It is our hope, as well, that another patient or family would never again have to endure such heartache. Until that time, we are dedicated to fighting aggressively for each patient, each family – one case at a time.
Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
Judge denies appeal from Lake Worth nursing home in $2 million wrongful death case, Jan. 22, 2013, By Daphne Duret, Palm Beach Post
More Blog Entries:
Lake Worth Nursing Home Neglect Death: Jury Awards $1.8M, Dec. 2, 2013, Lake Worth Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Blog