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Arkansas Nursing Home Bedsore Case Settlements & Verdicts (Case Valuation)
Bed sores particularly target nursing home residents because of their long periods of confinement- be it on beds, wheel chairs, or other places. They are also referred to as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores.
Bed sores normally arise from extended amounts of pressure, friction, or shearing. The sores initially just look like a blister but can later develop into serious wounds that affect the local tissue, bones, and other parts of the body. Here are some summaries of nursing home verdicts and nursing home settlements that focus on bed sores in Arkansas.$50,000 Nursing Home Settlement
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. This nursing home settlement in Arkansas was as cut and dry as one could find. The plaintiff was a seventy-four-year-old man who was recently transferred to the facility after undergoing operations on his legs and hips.
He didn’t have any history of bed sores prior to entering the nursing home. When he was admitted to the home, nurses conducted a thorough examination of him to see if they could find any and they didn’t.
They also devised a plan of care to prevent, identify, and treat them in the course of his stay there. However, all their plans were for naught. He ended up actually developing a few bed sores on the back of his left heel.
Fortunately, they were spotted relatively quickly (they had only got to stage three). Nursing home staff transferred him to a local treatment facility nearby where he could receive care for them. Physicians reviewed his case and treated his bed sores in a short amount of time.
Nevertheless, the man still incurred certain damages for the medical attention he received and pain that he endured. To receive compensation for these losses, he brought a lawsuit against the nursing home where it occurred.
He alleged that the defendant facility was negligent in its care of him pointing to his bed sores as clear proof of that negligence. The defendant pointed to its attempts to prevent them but couldn’t argue with the facts so it sought a settlement and he received $50,000.
Here is how that money was divvied up:
- About one-third of it was given to the state to satisfy its medical lien;
- One third was given to the man for pain and suffering; and
- The rest went to cover court fees and expenses.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. The nursing home targeted in this lawsuit was given plenty of notice regarding the suspected spread of bedsores on the resident in question. She was in her early eighties.
She had been flagged as a prime target for them by her doctors. They even sent over instructions in order to prevent her from getting them. The reason why they believed that she was so at risk for pressure sores was because she was paralyzed below the waste and could not move around easily.
Her lower body was subjected to extended periods of pressure and lack of mobility. However, something must have gotten lost in translation, because the nursing home did not create or implement a plan tailored to her that would stop the emergence of bed sores.
Thus, it wasn’t long after she entered the facility that she got them and they progressed quite rapidly. Her sores were already at stage two when they were discovered and they got to stage four before doctors performed surgery to treat them.
They were successful in stemming a lot of the tide but she was left with substantial disability and disfigurement. She sued the nursing home that was caring for her and they settled out of court for $250,000 but that’s not as much as you would think if you note these points:
- She had tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills;
- This nursing home settlement was almost half the average for bed sore cases with disability and disfigurement; and
- The defendant was clearly in the wrong and negligent in its failure to enforce a plan of action to stop the development of bed sores.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. The events at the center of this controversy were quite muddled with the resident’s past medical problems. He was an elderly man in his early eighties and suffered both mental and physical limitations.
Also, he had recently broken his leg and it was immobilized in a cast to help it heal properly. That leg and cast were the reason this lawsuit was eventually filed. He sustained pressure sores along the outer rim of the cast.
They got all the way to stage three before they were discovered and treated but after he already incurred expenses and injuries. Upon the advice of counsel, he filed a complaint in Arkansas court to recover compensation for these harms and costs.
He sought damages for economic and non-economic losses for things like pain, disfigurement, medical bills, and other items. The defendant promptly filed a response dismissing the validity of his suit as well as the amount of his damages.
They argued that the events which gave rise to his problems were beyond its control and that even if they were not that he was exaggerating their effect. However, still using the period before trial to end the matter, they offered $50,000 to settle the case. The plaintiff replied with a much higher figure but ultimately accepted at $125,000.
Here’s how that amount might have made sense to him and why he might have taken it:
- His medical bills were under $10,000;
- He didn’t sustain any disability and only little disfigurement because of the bed sores;
- There was no real sign of long-term pain due to the incident; and
- A significant cause of the sores was his pre-existing injury.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. The nursing home resident victimized in this dispute was paralyzed from the neck down because of a previous incident. She was in her middle fifties and had all of her mental faculties in place despite being limited almost completely in a physical capacity.
However, on one seemingly normal day, her family was in her room visiting when they rotated her over and noticed that she had bed sores along her lower spine. They had her doctors come to her side to inspect and diagnose the problem.
Her physicians discovered that her sores had already advanced to stage four and that she critically needed debridement and other procedures almost immediately. It took several weeks before the matter was resolved completely.
Plus, it cost her thousands and thousands of dollars in medical and related bills. Therefore, it wasn’t long before she brought a lawsuit against the nursing home where she was staying.
She alleged that the nursing home did not implement a proper plan of care to prevent bed sores; that it did not properly hire, train, and supervise its employees; and that it did not properly provide for her overall wellbeing and care.
She sought damages for intangible harms like disfigurement and tangible harms like pain and expenses. The defendant nursing home was in no position to claim that it did nothing wrong. Instead, it attacked the amount of damages that the plaintiff thought she should receive.
Eventually the two found accord at $500,000. Here is why the nursing home might have realized this was the correct figure despite its high value:
- It lacked evidence that it checked her at all for bed sores or even made a plan of care to prevent them; and
- Despite her paralysis, the fact of disfigurement would have played well with a sympathetic jury for the plaintiff.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. This controversy had a tragic ending. The victim was a seventy-nine-year old woman.
She had been living at the nursing home for several years before the events described in the lawsuit took place. Prior to the issues involving bed sores, she was already suffering from a number of other problems.
Her mobility was reduced to almost nothing from diabetes and past accidents; her heart was not functioning properly; and she mental impairments. All of these conditions required the nursing home to give her around-the-clock care and attention.
Apparently, judging off of the documents her representatives filed in court, that is not what she received. From the allegations, it appeared that she developed stage four bed sores and they quickly combined with sepsis to threaten her life.
Staff rushed her to the hospital to receive specialized treatment and diagnostic examination. However, it was not enough and she passed away just a few days later.
Her estate brought a cause of action against the nursing home. They alleged that the nursing home’s deficient supervision, care, and resources caused her death and sought damages for the expense, loss, and suffering.
The two parties settled out of court for a reported $1,000,000 and here is a bit of insight into that nursing home settlement value:
- It’s a significant settlement value but close in line with the average for wrongful death cases and bed sores; and
- The fact that the decedent developed bed sores that went to stage four and then became infected strongly suggested negligence on the part of the nursing home.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. This cause of action was so controversial because it happened to such a blameless victim. Despite the fact that nearly all nursing home residents are innocent more times than not, this particular person was especially worthy of sympathy.
She was fifty-three and battling several serious health problems including issues related to childbirth defects. While she was not specifically singled out for being a risk for pressure sores, her case did warrant attention, at least more attention than she received because she was bed-ridden or confined to a wheelchair for a majority of the day.
As it turned out, she did develop bed sores. They were along the top of her buttocks and near her lower spinal region. The sores got so bad that they reached a critical state especially when they became infected.
Eventually, the staff at the nursing home found out what she was dealing with and had her physicians brought in for care. They tried to perform debridement and similar procedures to treat the sores but not much could be done. She had passed away nearly two weeks later.
The death was determined to be due to the infection which was itself a consequence of the bed sores. The woman’s estate filed a nursing home lawsuit in Arkansas court to recover for her wrongful death as well as the pain, aggravation, and expense that came with it.
The nursing home did not wait long into the litigation process to offer a compromise and the family received $1,250,000 in compensation. Here are some of the cards that they had in their pocket to force such a significant settlement amount:
- The woman was very young and had a long life expectancy;
- She did not have any pre-existing conditions that were relevant to the events in this lawsuit; and
- The nursing home clearly acted negligently in its dereliction of supervision or care for bed sores.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. This legal dispute was handled so swiftly and marginally largely because of the decisive action and surveillance of the man’s treating physicians.
He was transferred to the nursing home just about one month before he started to show signs of bed sores. The doctors instructed the facility’s staff about the need to watch him for sores and the exact precautions to take in order for him to avoid developing them.
Unfortunately, due to his bedridden status, he still ended up getting bed sores on his backside, where exactly though is unknown. However, his persistent physicians followed up routinely with the nursing home staff and it was because of this diligence that they were quickly spotted.
They then came in and performed a procedure to treat the affected skin as well as the surrounding area to ensure that the condition did not extend to the neighboring bones, muscle, or tissue. Fortunately, the matter was taken care of before it progressed to a critical state.
Yet, the man was still left with significant bills and pain from the ordeal. To recover for these specific losses, he sued the nursing home for damages. He claimed that the defendant nursing home’s negligent supervision and care led directly to his losses and that it was legally responsible for them.
The defendant nursing home demurred on these points but was still able to convince the plaintiff to settle. He received $25,000 that was broken down along the following lines:
- $10,000 was for medical bills;
- $8,000 was for pain and suffering; and
- The rest was for intangible harms such as disfigurement.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. The facts at the heart of this cause of action were relatively straightforward and simple to understand. The victim was a nursing home resident. He was seventy-seven.
He had been living at the facility in question for several years with multiple ailments before the incident which drove this case took place. What happened was that he recently had his left leg amputated.
The reason for this procedure was due to circumstances unrelated to the suit but it eventually had a lot to with the legal matter. This is because after the amputation his doctors gave the nursing home staff specific instructions so that he would not sustain particular injuries such as falls, heart problems, and bed sores.
Yet, despite their best efforts, this guidance went unheeded which led directly (in the plaintiff’s opinion) to his contraction and spread of bed sores. In fact, they emerged just above where the amputation took place and then trailed up to his lower back and spinal regions.
However, their large presence across his body did not mean they were detected initially. It took some time before the nursing home staff identified them and sought treatment. By that point, they were already at a critical state and endangering his life.
He received emergency care but still sought recompense for the damage and disarray that the events caused in his life. The lawsuit targeted the nursing home as responsible for them and complained for various kinds of damages.
Fearing the limitless verdict that a sympathetic jury would award him, the defendant facility offered a generous settlement of $750,000 and he accepted. Here is some insight into this value:
- It is nearly twenty-five percent higher than the average for cases without wrongful death claims, stage four bed sores, or serous long-term impairment; but
- There was clear and egregious negligence on the part of the nursing home.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. This case illustrates how nursing homes can still be on the hook even when they act swiftly and decisively to correct a problem. The issue at the heart of this debate was bed sores.
The questions involved were who caused them, how affected was the plaintiff, and who should pay for the damages. The dispute started when the plaintiff was transferred from a local medical facility-a hospital- to a nursing home.
How that transfer took place however was under a certain amount of controversy. The hospital’s lawyers claimed that they sent the man to the facility with clear caution that he was a prime target for bed sores as well as instructions on how the nursing home staff could guard against them.
The nursing home denied that this ever happened. What was obvious and accepted though was that the man developed bed sores. Yet, they didn’t get too far before they were spotted and treated. He suffered a little scarring, substantial medical bills, pain, and minor long-term discomfort.
To recover for these inconveniences, he filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit named the nursing home as well as his treating doctors and hospital as the responsible parties.
Under the law, his task was merely to show that their combined negligence caused his injuries and then let the defendants sort out their respective allocations of fault.
Apparently, all the defendants acknowledged their culpability or at least their desire to end the matter swiftly.
They ended up giving him $175,000 and here is how their contributions tallied up:
- The nursing home paid roughly $100,000;
- The hospital contributed about $50,000; and
- His doctors gave $25,000.
Arkansas nursing home bed sore case. The biggest thing about this Arkansas lawsuit was the significant pre-existing condition the plaintiff had. In fact, it was the very same thing as what he actually sued over: bed sores.
He was in his early forties and had been bedridden for a long time due to an accident long before and unrelated to the circumstances of this lawsuit. Therefore, he was a prime target for bed sores. In fact, he had been diagnosed and treated for them some years before this event.
The ones that eventually resurfaced were even close to and around the older wound sites. This incident is significant because the nursing home staff was clearly monitoring the situation and attempting to prevent their reoccurrence.
Obviously, they were not successful. Fortunately for the man, the pressure sores didn’t get very far. They did not progress substantially or spread over a significant amount of his body. Yet, he was still troubled, injured, and expensed by the affair so he sued the nursing home to recover for these losses.
They settled out of court for $100,000 and that money was distributed as follows:
- About $10,000 went to the state for medical bills;
- About one third of that went to court fees and expenses; and
- The rest went to the man for his pain and suffering.
Arkansas nursing homes cases with bed sores can get tricky very fast. Here are some tips to remember so that you can keep track of what is important:
- Ascertain what kind of screening the home did to check for bed sores when he or she was first admitted.
- Check to see if the resident had sores before entering the facility and to what extent they worsened while living there.
- Research if other residents developed bed sores at the same facility because this can evidence a pattern of negligent behavior.
- See if the resident developed an infection in addition to bed sores because this can be the cause of death or other complications.
The attorneys at Nursing Home Law News have prosecuted hundreds of cases involving bed sores in nursing homes. We can help you investigate the facts of your case to figure out if you will be able to bring a claim for recovery. If you do choose to file suit, our team can fight for your rights on contingency so you don’t have to worry about bills. Let our group of experienced lawyers take over and ensure you get justice under the law. Call our offices today!
If you would like to learn more about nursing home cases in Arkansas, please read the following pages: