There is no formula to determine the value a Palm Beach nursing home lawsuit. However, due to their explosive nature, a jury can sometimes award 'run away verdicts' in these elder abuse cases. Recently, a Palm Beach County jury awarded over 1 million dollars ($1,000,000) to the family of a victim of nursing home abuse. The family's allegations included nursing home neglect which led to the development of decubitus ulcers (bed sores).
Palm Beach Nursing Home Wrongful Death Case Facts
The decedent entered the nursing home at 72 years of age. At the time of his admission, he was suffering from dementia, diabetes, heart problems and unsteady gait. He remained at the defendant nursing home for 60 days and was eventually transferred to a different nursing home. 2 weeks into his new residency at the second nursing home, he was rushed to a Palm Beach County hospital. The victim then died, and the case was brought as a wrongful death claim against the first nursing home. The family investigated the wrongful death and hired a medical examiner to perform an autopsy. The family-retained doctor determined that the victim's cause of death was pneumonia brought about by infected decubitus ulcers (or pressure sores).
The Plaintiff's Case
During the case, the Palm Beach nursing home neglect lawyer suggested that these pressure sores developed at the defendant facility, and that they would have been prevented through appropriate care. The Plaintiff put forth medical research which shows that pressure sores are referred to as a 'never event'. This means that pressure sores are a medical error that should never occur. The Plaintiff lawyer also put forth evidence which linked the pressure ulcer injury to the wrongful death. This was established mainly through the testimony of the medical examiner physician.
The Nursing Home's Defenses
The Defense claimed that the decedent's passing was natural and due to the fact that he was gravely ill and elderly. The defense attorney highlighted all of the decedent's preexisting health conditions, along with his blood work. The decedent's blood work allegedly showed that his wounds were not infected while he resided at the first nursing home. Therefore, the defense lawyer claimed the first nursing home could not be responsible for his wrongful death.
Palm Beach Jury Verdict
Ultimately, the Palm Beach jury deliberated for 2 days and found 100% liability on the defendant nursing home. The jury awarded over $1,000,000 in damages to the surviving family members of the neglect victim. The case is currently up on appeal in the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach, Florida.
If you have any questions, or would like to speak with a lawyer about your potential Palm Beach nursing home case, call us today at 561-316-7207 or fill out the contact form below.