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 who 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.