Jury Awards $14 Million in 2008 Death: Closed Nursing Home is Found Negligent in Care of Patient

In August, a Massachusetts Superior Court
jury awarded $14 million to the estate of a
deceased nursing home resident.
The plaintiff alleged the defendant facility,
Radius HealthCare Center, was grossly
negligent in caring for the 90-year-old
resident. As a result, the plaintiff alleged
that the decedent suffered from a number of
untreated conditions including a pressure
sore, acute appendicitis, a urinary tract
infection that had spread to her blood
stream, kidney failure, uncontrolled
diabetes, and severe dehydration. Hospital
doctors diagnosed these conditions after the
decedent was admitted to a hospital
following a fall from her wheelchair. She
died a month later.
The jury found that the facility’s gross
negligence was a “substantial contributing
factor” in causing the woman’s death. The
jury awarded $12.5 million in punitive
damages and awarded $1.4 million in
compensatory damages. According to
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, it is the
largest nursing home-related verdict in
Massachusetts in at least the last decade.
Radius, and four related companies involved
in managing and operating a chain of
nursing homes in Massachusetts, has since
gone out of business. Middlesex Superior
Court Judge Peter B. Krupp told the jury the
same before it started deliberations on
punitive damages.
Krupp instructed the jury that while punitive
damages may awarded for a company’s bad
behavior, they can also be used to dissuade
other nursing homes from similar conduct,
according to lawyers involved in the case.
Before trial, the defendant admitted there
was a “breach” in the standard of care
Calandro received, but it argued that the
breach did not cause her death.
No staffers or officers from the company
appeared at trial because the company has
since closed.

 

Author: Web Master
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