Florida Jury Awards $114 in Nursing Home Abuse Case

In another <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/nursing_home_negligence">nursing home abuse case, a jury just awarded a $114 million verdict to the family of a 76-year-old woman, wrote The Ledger. Juanita Jackson died on July 6, 2003 after a stay at the Integrated Health Services at Auburndale, said The Ledger.

The verdict is believed to be the largest awarded by a Polk County jury and followed allegations that Jackson’s treatment at the facility was the cause of her death and that she was injured after falling and then received other injuries from “pressure sores, overmedication, malnourishment, and dehydration,” said The Ledger.

Some Delaware companies are listed on the lawsuit as being the operators of the nursing home involved and include Trans Healthcare and Trans Health Management, said The Ledger. According to one plaintiff attorney, the companies—after years of litigation—ceased being involved in the lawsuit. In response, said The Ledger, a default judgment was entered against the companies on July 7 and jurors were asked to determine damages. Jurors awarded $14 million in damages and another $100 million in punitive damages to the family, noted The Ledger.

Jackson’s children—three daughters and one son—issued the following statement: “We are proud that we fought for our mom, and we are glad that people recognized the suffering she went through. We hope this will help make sure no one else has to go through such a horrible experience,” quoted The Ledger.

Meanwhile, we recently wrote that the advocacy group, Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform, asked the governor of Kentucky to appoint a task force into a review of nursing home abuse and death cases and the lack of prosecution into the growing problem of nursing home abuse, wrote Kentucky.com.

We also recently wrote that a Superior Court judge in California upheld a $29 million verdict in a nursing home abuse case. The Sacramento Bee said that the “strongly worded ruling” involved a verdict against a nursing home company related to the 2005 death of a senior patient. The judge rejected the healthcare facility’s arguments seeking a new trial or “significantly reduced damages” in a case involving a 79-year-old woman who suffered from mild dementia and died a few months later following a fall and an undiagnosed hip fracture; she died due to an infected bedsore.

We’ve been following the issue of nursing home abuse for some time. Among other reports, a lawsuit was recently filed against the La Salle County Nursing Home in Illinois concerning allegations involving the same sexually abusive male resident and an array of female residents; most were receiving treatment for dementia. A Brooklyn nursing home was ordered to pay about $19 million in damages to a family whose loved one allegedly died following abject neglect. ABC World News reported that a California nursing home used chemical restraints—drugs—to silence residents. In some cases, this practice was fatal.

Yet another accusation of neglect recently made headlines when the Ridgecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Florida was accused of, and investigated for, abuse. Graystone Healthcare Management owns Ridgecrest and operates 28 nursing homes in Florida, Indiana, and Ohio.

In another sad case involving nursing home abuse, a former aide was sentenced to 10 years probation for the sexual abuse of a patient at the nursing home where he had once worked, and faces up to seven years for charges brought against him by the state attorney general’s office last year.

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