Brooklyn Nursing Home To Pay $19 Million In Abuse Case

A Brooklyn nursing home has been ordered to pay a huge amount in damages to a family whose loved one allegedly died as a result of abject neglect. According to Fox News, citing attorneys involved in the Brooklyn, New York case, the <"">nursing home abuse lawsuit is the first of its kind in the state to result in an award of punitive damages.

The award came close to $19 million dollars and will be paid to the family of a 76-year-old patient who suffered such severe neglect that he was stricken with an unbelievable number of bedsores, in excess of 20. “It was horrible,” said Margaret Whitehurst, 55, daughter of John Danzy, said Fox News. Danzy, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, was removed from the Brooklyn-Queens Nursing Home after being in residence there less than a year. “He walked in on two legs and a cane. He was 237 pounds. When we got him back, he was 148 pounds and he had holes all over his body,” said Whitehurst, quoted Fox News.

Danzy’s children moved their father to a different facility, where he died six months later, an apparent result of infections caused by the sores, said Fox News, citing testimony from the lawsuit. The jury awarded $3.75 million for Danzy’s pain and suffering and an additional $15 million in punitive damages, said Fox News. The punitive damage award was added, in part, said Fox News, due to evidence pointing to a cover up by the Cypress Hills’ Brooklyn-Queens nursing home, reported Fox News.

It seems that, according to an FBI expert who testified in the case, some 100 skin-check notations that originally indicated “G” for “good” were “penned over” to indicate “B” for “broken,” said Fox News. The falsification was made by the facility to back its claims that it was, in fact, aware of the bedsore situation, according to Fox News.

Apparently, Danzy was restrained to prevent wandering; however, he was allegedly left unattended for “long periods.” According to the plaintiff’s attorney, Danzy was moved—if he was moved—every four hours, a violation of standards in which restrained or bedridden patients must be moved every two hours to prevent bed sores, explained Fox News.

Earlier this year we wrote about another horrible report detailing an incident of nursing home abuse involving a North Salem, New York nursing home aide who tied an 83-year-old woman to her wheelchair with a bed sheet, deposited her in a common room, shut the lights out, and napped. The certified nurse’s aide napped for about one hour while the woman was tied to the chair, according to a prior LoHud article. The incident took place at the Waterview Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Home; Pierre Obas, 72, pleaded guilty to violating public health law involving the abuse, neglect, and mistreatment of a person, said LoHud, a misdemeanor offense. Obas was required to surrender his certification and is not allowed to work in a nurse’s aide capacity for a year from his April 27 sentencing said LoHud, citing court records.

We’ve been following the widespread issue of nursing home abuse for some time. In 2008, the former Bush administration finally published the names of 131 of the nation’s worst nursing homes. And, in a harrowing example of the widespread problem of abuse and negligence, last year, the family of a deceased Norwich, Connecticut man filed what is believed to be the first wrongful death lawsuit against officials at Connecticut’s largest nursing home chain: Haven Healthcare.

When seniors are abused—emotionally, physically, financially, sexually, or through neglect—the risk of death increases by more than double, according a recent study, said Medicine Net recently.

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