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New York Jury Punishes Nursing Home Where Man Develops More Than 20 Bed Sores

It never fails to amaze me.  Frequently, when I tell people about some of the cases I work on involving bed sores, I only to get a ‘so what?’ reaction from them.  Are the people who surround me heartless?  Maybe some of them (just joking, honey)?  Nonetheless, the reality is that most people have no idea what a bed sore truly is or the catastrophic consequences that my arise after a person develops them.

When people actually see the gruesome photos of rotting flesh on a person’s backside hear about the ongoing medical procedures that are necessary to heal the wound, they begin to understand the real impact of this medical condition.

Along these lines, an obviously compassionate jury in New York awarded the family of a man whodollar succumbed to infection following the development of bed sores almost $19 million.  The New York Post reported that the Brooklyn jury’s award was comprised of $3.75 for the man’s pain and suffering and a hefty $15 million in punitive damages.

According to the man’s daughter’s Margaret Whitehurst, the man rapidly declined during his nine month admission to Brooklyn Queens Nursing Home.  “He walked in on two legs and a cane.  He was 237 pounds.  When we got him back, he was 148 pounds and had holes all over his body.”

In addition to hearing testimony regarding severe bed sores (also called: decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers or pressure sores), the jury also heard from an expert witness who testified about how the nursing home altered the man’s medical records to make it appear as though he entered the facility with bed sores.

Not having any firsthand knowledge of whether the nursing home made any offer to settle the case prior to trial, I can only assume the offer was insignificant.  I’ll bet this facility is now re-thinking its decision to avoid responsibility for the death of this patient.

Read more about this nursing home lawsuit here.

Learn more about the laws applicable to New York nursing homes here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in New York , Buffalo and Rochester

Related:

Lawsuit Claims That Nursing Home’s Negligence Resulted In Patient’s Decubitus Ulcers

Lawsuit Alleges: One Week In The Nursing Home Results In Significant Deterioration Of Pressure Sores & Sepsis

Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit Claims New York Facility Allowed Advanced Bed Sore To Develop In Rehab Patient

Big Verdicts Against Nursing Homes

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  • My gooodness!! The only time I actually expect multiple pressure ulcer development (not accept – we still do everything possible to treat and prevent them) is when a resident is in the end-stages of a terminal illness and their body simply isn’t creating new cells to replace the dying ones. I have seen a hospice resident sprout 10 bedsores practically overnight, but this is rare, even then. 20 wounds acquired in a facility is outrageous.

  • MARI

    I would like to know if anyone was fired? Many were responsible for this poor man’s death. I also want to know if the person (Ombudsman?) that conducts nursing home state inspections actually conducted an inspection during this man’s stay? And if so, did he check each resident from head-to-toe? If this man had that many sores, how many sores did the others have? People should be outraged! I know I am!

  • Mari-
    I echo your thoughts! Perhaps one of the reasons this man’s bed sores became so advanced is because there was inadequate staffing and / or high rates of turnover? While it is easy to point the finger at the staff who were on-the-job during this man’s admission, most situations such as this– represent a complete breakdown amongst staffing. In this respect, blame is rightfully place on the facility as a whole.
    With respect to your second concern, is it really fair to expect nursing home surveyors to inspect every patient— head to toe? Again, accountability should be placed on the facility as a whole.

  • Dawn

    My father died from stage IV bed sores. He went into the hospital for atriple A anyurism and died two month later from severe bed sores on his sacrum, buttocks and legs. Just knowing how my dad suffered is so heartbreaking. This should have never happened. My sister and I now have a wrongful dealth lawsuit with the hosptil and the doctors. I just wish we had our dad back.

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