Jurors overhearing a recent nursing home neglect case were so horrified by the details, they awarded $30 million in damages – $28 million of that being punitive damages against the nursing home, its two owners and related companies.
Such damage awards aren’t necessarily the norm. In fact, most nursing home neglect lawsuits are settled prior to trial. However, plaintiffs are increasingly becoming emboldened to take action against staffers and facilities that fail to provide proper care to them and their loved ones. The clear message is that substandard care of our most vulnerable citizens is unacceptable, and nursing homes that try to cut corners with reductions in staff and poor training are ultimately going to pay for it.
Most of the cases involve injury or death from falls, fractures, pressure sores, dehydration, malnutrition or a delayed response to certain infections. These are often very complex and challenging cases because usually the primary witness – the elderly victim – is either deceased or has diminished mental capacity. But when they are successful, plaintiffs are finding they can often result in substantial compensation. Still, most plaintiffs aren’t actually in it to recover money. Really what they are looking for is to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else. They don’t want someone else to endure what they and their loved one have. Continue reading →