$900M Verdict FL The Est. of Joseph Webb v. Trans Healthcare et al.
Tampa law firm wins another big verdict in nursing home lawsuit without a defense
For the third time in two years, the Tampa law firm of Wilkes & McHugh has won a whopping nursing home verdict by getting a case to trial with no defense arguing for the other side.
In 2010, a Polk County jury awarded $114 million in a nursing home resident’s death. Last month, a Pinellas County jury awarded $200 million after a woman in a wheelchair toppled to her death in a stairwell.
The nominal defendants in all three cases were a family of Delaware corporations that owned or operated hundreds of nursing homes nationwide. The management arm â€” Trans Health Management Inc. â€” has since gone defunct. A parent company â€” Trans Healthcare Inc. â€” is in receivership in Maryland.
"We are showing the sums of money being looted,” James Wilkes said. "We think total profits were about $2 billion that was sucked out of the system.”
The judge refused to delay the trial or allow her to reappear for the defense on the eve of the trial.
With no witnesses or lawyers for the defense, Chavez-Ruark said, "The jury did not receive the benefit of an accurate or reliable presentation of evidence. The verdict it returned is not supported by Florida law and violates the due process rights of the defendants."
Though the Gainesville case alleged medical neglect, Wilkes & McHugh also sued for abuse and exploitation of the elderly, based on the alleged siphoning away of funds.