Jury Awards $5.2 Million to Family of Nursing Home Neglect Victim

521961_hospital_bed.jpg An Arkansas jury awarded $5.2 million to the family of a woman who died after nursing home employees failed to act on doctor’s orders.

The victim, a 76-year-old woman, entered a nursing home for 30 days of rehabilitation after suffering a stroke in 2008. Just over a week after her admission, the woman complained of severe pain, sweating, and an inability to have a bowel movement but her complaints were ignored by the nursing home staff. A doctor was called to examine her the next day and the doctor made a recommendation that the victim be transferred to an emergency room for evaluation and treatment. The order was passed on to an employee who was finishing a shift, so that employee faxed the order to another fax machine where the message was not seen.

The victim was never transferred to a hospital and remained in so much pain that she screamed throughout the day until she died later that night. The order to transfer her to an emergency room was found the day after the victim passed away.

The victim’s daughters filed a lawsuit that alleged negligent care and treatment that led to their mother’s death. After hearing the evidence in this matter, a jury returned a unanimous verdict finding that the nursing home guilty of negligence, medical malpractice, and a violation of the victim’s rights. The jury determined that the damages amounted to $5.2 million for pain and suffering as well as mental anguish that will go to the estate of the victim for the benefit of her beneficiaries.

Abuse of this type happens in Illinois all too often. Residents are ignored, forgotten, or intentionally neglected when they are in a life threatening situation. While many residents believe they will have only a short stay in a nursing home, the lack of care they receive might make that impossible, as it did for the victim in this case.

Nursing homes are governed by federal and state regulations and are required to provide safe care and treatment to residents. Illinois also has a law requiring mandatory reporting of suspected elder abuse by certain professionals, including doctors, social workers, and police officers.

However even though there are regulations and mandatory reporting requirements, nursing home abuse still happens all too frequently in Illinois. Abuse may occur in many forms, including of neglect or indifference towards the care of a resident, development of bed sores, injuries caused by falls or being dropped by nursing home employees, medication errors, and physical or sexual violence by employees against residents.

 

 

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are experienced Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys who see it as our duty to protect the interests of nursing home residents and their families by fighting for justice and what is right. We know the Illinois nursing homes and we know how to find the truth when the owners and employees try to hide it. If your loved one has been injured while a resident at a nursing home, you may have a claim for the injuries or damages sustained. Please call us today at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442 and let us provide you with a free consultation regarding your case and your rights. We also offer free in-home or in-hospital consultations for those who want to meet with us in person but are too injured to travel to our office, so please call us now.

Prior Blog Entries:

Jury Awards $3.7 Million to Family of Nursing Home Patient Neglected in Colorado, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published May 13, 2013.

Nurse Sentenced for Assaulting Elderly Knoxville Nursing Home Resident, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published May 12, 2013.

Resources:

Faulkner jury awards $5.2 million in nursing home negligence case, by Max Brantley, Arkansas Time, published May 17, 2013.

Photo Credit: Image ID: 521961, zeafonso, stock.xchng.