After hearing the evidence in a wrongful death lawsuit involving an elderly woman’s fall at a Florida Nursing Home, a jury became so enraged by the conduct of the facility— that they chose to punish them the only way they could– by handing down a huge verdict against the facility.
The trial centered around the care— or perhaps lack thereof– that a 92-year-old woman received at Pinellas Park Care and Rehabilitation Center during an admission to the facility in 2004. It was during that admission, that the staff at the facility allowed the woman to wander in her wheelchair to an unsecured stairway where she fell down multiple stairs to her death.
In addition to the oversight in allowing this patient– with known wandering propensities— to wander away from a group of patients at the facility, staff failed to notice the woman’s whereabouts even though she was equipped with multiple alarms to alert the facility as to her whereabouts.
According to news reports regarding this landmark nursing home verdict, within just an hour of deliberations the jury awarded the woman’s estate $60 million in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages.
Given the impressive award, my guess is that the jury became quite angered after hearing about the was that this facility was operated. Testimony provided by former employees of the nursing home described a facility was was under-staffed and that allowed problems to develop in the past when the patient suffered other falls and injuries at the facility.
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