A Pennsylvania nursing home negligence jury returned its verdict in the amount of $1 million, which included $750,000 in punitive damages, against a Pennsylvania nursing home operator and others, for the fractures suffered by a resident as a result of multiple falls that were allegedly due to the nursing home’s inadequate staffing.
The 70-year-old man was a resident of the defendant nursing home from April 2, 2014 until April 22, 2014 following a below-the-knee amputation and the amputation of several of his toes. During that short period of time, the resident suffered several falls that resulted in a fracture of his humeral head on the right side, a fracture of his scapula, and a fractured hip. He also suffered pneumonia during his nursing home stay. The resident died from an unrelated illness in December 2015.
The defendant nursing home reportedly had a history of poor performance surveys conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and was placed on the special focus list by CMS months after the resident’s nursing home stay. The Pennsylvania nursing home claim jury heard testimony that the defendant nursing home was chronically understaffed and disregarded complaints received from its own staff.
The Pennsylvania nursing home negligence plaintiffs alleged in their complaint that the defendant nursing home operator and the other defendants knew that the inadequate staffing levels at the nursing home were likely to cause harm to residents and that the defendants ignored complaints regarding insufficient staffing levels from its own staff, residents, and the families of residents. The plaintiffs further alleged that the defendants recklessly disregarded their staffing decisions that placed their profits over the health and needs of their residents.
The plaintiffs contended that the defendants intentionally focused efforts in increasing the number of sicker residents with complex medical needs in its facility in order to receive larger reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, including the 70-year-old resident who was dependent on the nursing home’s staff for all of his activities of daily living.
The plaintiffs’ nursing home negligence lawyer stated after the jury returned its verdict, “This community deserves better and members of this community heard all the evidence and agreed my client deserved better. This type of award shows nursing home operators that you cannot fail to take care of the most vulnerable citizens of [this county] and expect zero consequences. Defendants did not indicate to me following the verdict if they would appeal but it has been my experience that it is more likely than not that they will appeal.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in Pennsylvania or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, or nursing home understaffing, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim attorney in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
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