To the unsuspecting, bed sores might appear to be a minor inconvenience. A trifling blister that can be washed away with a touch of lotion or a damp towel. Quite to the contrary, these sores (also referred to as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers) can quickly and seriously threaten the lives of their victims. They emerge as blisters from prolonged pressure or friction but then weaken the surrounding muscles and tissues.
If an infection takes hold, then its deleterious effects can paralyze an entire body and leave them subject to such serious consequences as death. Here are some New Jersey nursing home cases where victims experienced bed sores and other injuries during their stay at facilities in the state.
$1,000,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. The drama at stake in this lawsuit was really its speed. Some causes of action in New Jersey take time to emerge and then develop in a court of law. On the other hand, this dispute had a speedy resolution once the events at the heart of the matter resolved themselves-possibly because of the obviousness of fault.
The plaintiff was the estate of a recently deceased woman. She was in her eighties at the time of her death. Lawyers for her family reviewed the circumstances surrounding her passing and eventually decided to file suit.
They charged the nursing home and treating physicians with negligence, malpractice, and wrongful death. The facts they used to build these claims largely consisted of events near in time to her death. She had no history or predisposition to bed sores.
However, the woman did suffer a fall that left her seriously injured and unable to move around by herself. Her lawyers maintained that this should have triggered the nursing home into higher action to prevent bed sores but they did not.
They also did not provide basic supervisory or care services that would have spotted them and treated them once they did. Due to these failures, sores arose and critically threatened her life in not very much time at all.
Doctors performed emergency procedures but she was unable to survive the affair. After the defendant nursing home filed its reply, they began pre-trial motions but this was more of just a setup for settlement. Here are some factors that account for the large recovery:
- Despite the fall accident, she had a sizeable life-expectancy ahead of her;
- The nursing home was obviously derelict in its duty of care and attention; and
- The defendant ignored medical guidelines concerning the treatment of nursing home residents and prevention of bed sores.
$100,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. This controversy presented thorny challenges for the plaintiff because he had bed sores prior to the events at stake in the lawsuit. Their angle looked more at how the defendant nursing home handled the condition and also how it didn’t prevent the man’s sores from deteriorating and further aggravating his health.
The matter was not just a point of injury. He suffered great expense and disfigurement from the events as well. They required medical attention which cost substantial amounts of money. Also, he was left scarred from the procedures.
This combined to create a great sense of pain and loss in him. To recover for this, he sued the nursing home. His claim rested on negligence. The nursing home charged back that it did all that it could, met all of its obligations, and that the blame must lie on another party if any at all. However, met with the prospect of a long and expensive trial process, it sought the confines of settlement.
He got $100,000 which makes sense considering the following points:
- The plaintiff’s condition got worse and absent extenuating circumstances that is usually blamed on the nursing home.
- Despite clear fault, the plaintiff didn’t suffer any long-term impact and that exhibits why he didn’t receive as much as the average.
$250,000 NURSING HOME VERDICT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. The complexity of this case was the woman herself and not so much what happened or the injuries that resulted. For a long period of time before the circumstances that led to the lawsuit, she had dealt with dementia and other serious disorders.
This caused her to be unruly towards many of the staff members. In response to this disruptive conduct, they were forced to take a number of actions including restrain her to her bed for an extended period of time. Also, they made sure that she stayed in her bed for most of the day because they believed she could not be trusted to act properly outside the walls of her room.
The consequence of these actions, according to her counsel, was that she developed bed sores that got out of control and took her life. Multiple sores grew and spread all across her body and once an infection took hold in the sites there was not much they could do.
She was survived by a number of family members and each of them made a claim for damages. However, the defendant nursing home had a strong argument for contributory negligence and took that all the way into the courtroom.
After trial, the jury awarded the estate $250,000 in what appeared to be a compromise verdict.
$75,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. This cause of action was a methodical order. The incident emerged, the lawsuit filed, and the agreement reached at a rate faster than most because of the facts and circumstances of the injury.
The woman had had bed sores before she was transferred to the nursing home in question. Therefore, when he was admitted to the care facility, her doctors gave them specific instructions as to her care and supervision.
Unfortunately, it seems that some of the guidelines and advice must have gotten lost in translation because a number of her sores worsened especially ones along her legs and lower back. However, nursing home staff were quick to spot, treat, and stabilize her condition. Yet, this came with great pain and expense. Plus, her future health was put in jeopardy by the complications of the bed sores.
Therefore, the matter appeared to be relatively straightforward: the nursing home didn’t live up to the promise it made and duty it owed to the resident. To account for this imbalance, the woman filed a lawsuit in New Jersey court seeking compensation for the damages that the defendant nursing home’s negligence caused her including tangible and intangible losses.
The nursing home’s defense was that this was a pre-existing condition that it had no part in affecting.
However, realizing the lack of attention it paid to her and injuries she sustained on their watch, they finally agreed to compromise and she got the following compensation amounts:
- $40,000 for economic damages;
- $20,000 for non-economic damages; and
- The rest for miscellaneous fees and expenses.
$200,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. The resident in the middle of this incident was admitted to the care facility because he was recently in an accident that left him partially paralyzed as well as unable to move around by himself.
Obviously, this should have cautioned the nursing home to take extra precautions to endure that he didn’t fall, get sores or encounter any other kind of harm due to his status. However, it seems that this was not what happened. He ended up with bed sores, some at various stages of development, but combined they threated his long-term health.
To correct this problem, he was transferred to a hospital through emergency transit and taken to specialists. They performed treatments to stem the tide of the problem but at no small charge. Additionally, the chain of events still left him badly bruised, scarred, and harmed.
He sued the nursing home where the sores arose and claimed its negligence led to his pain and expenses. He sought compensation for all of these things.
The defendant nursing home turned around and pointed the finger at his pre-existing paralysis as the source of the bed sores. It said it did everything it could. Yet, it still couldn’t explain how its actions sufficed under the circumstances.
Therefore, just after the commencement of trial, it entered negotiations and the plaintiff received $200,000.
Here are some points that put this amount into proper consideration:
- He was still a young man left with long-term pain because of the incident as well as scars;
- The nursing home did not have a good plan of attack or follow through in order to prevent him from getting sores in his particular situation; and
- Nursing homes are generally presumed at fault when residents develop bed sores or when they worsen.
$1,000,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. This case was controversial from the very beginning. The reason that it generated so much hot water was because of the victim and the injury sustained. The victim was a long-term resident of various care facilities because of injuries she sustained during childbirth that left her unable to take care of herself.
She was middle-aged and in good condition despite the handicap when these events transpired. Over the course of several months, she developed bed sores along the parts of her body that rubbed against the wheelchair and bed that she was confined to regularly.
These progressed to a critical stage and impacted the surrounding muscle and tissue. At some point undetermined, she was transferred to a nearby medical center for advanced care but it could not forestall her death. The family of the woman filed a wrongful death action against the nursing home and aggressively placed the blame for her passing on its shoulders.
Specifically, the suit contended that the defendant failed to create and implement a plan to stop sores. Also, that it did check her routinely for their emergence and in several other ways prevented her from being able to fight them off and live. The defendant artfully elaborated the point that the decedent’s handicapped position put her on a downward spiral that even the best of care could not prevent.
However, in pre-trial motion and discovery, the plaintiffs were able to illustrate the abysmal level of service that she enjoyed at the nursing home. Both sides must have thought that a jury would have bought the victims’ side of the story because settlement was imminent. They received the generous sum noted above.
$400,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. This cause of action involved a care facility as well as a resident with pre-existing conditions. He had limited range of motion due to a prior injury and hip replacement surgery. He had just turned sixty-nine when the events of this suit transpired.
Over the course of several months, he began to develop bed sores and they were not minor or insignificant. They stretched all along his body and reached a critical state. At a certain point along this timeline, nursing home staff figured out what was going on and stepped in to solve the problem.
However, soon after these actions, they realized the issue was beyond their capabilities and made arrangements to have her transferred to an advanced medical facility for screening and care. The physicians at that location performed an exhaustive review of his condition and discovered that it was worse than they realized.
The sores had contracted an infection and that threatened her life. The medical team took emergency action but it was too little too late. She passed away approximately one month after arriving at the hospital.
Many questions awaited the family that survived her following the death:
How did her condition decline so quickly?
Why did the nursing home not realize the situation and take action faster?
Could her death have been prevented?
They planned to answer a lot of these questions in court but the lawsuit never made it to trial. They settled and recovered $400,000 which was divvied up the following way:
- About half of the compensation was for wrongful death; and
- The remainder was apportioned for expenses, fees, and damages.
$1,000,000 NURSING HOME VERDICT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. This controversy might appear typical from afar but zoom in and you’ll find an extraordinary tragedy and complicated lawsuit. The reason for it uniqueness was its subject: a young woman.
Injured and handicapped at birth, she required around-the-clock care in order to enjoy the most basic of lifestyles. Ordinarily, this would put nursing home staff on high alert for particular kinds of threats including falls, bed sores, malnutrition, and dehydration.
To be fair, staff at the facility did create and put in place a stringent care plan. However, it appears that they didn’t succeed on execution. Their record of compliance with their own programs was less than stellar. Perhaps due to these failures, she did in fact suffer a number of accidents.
She fell on several occasions, she developed bed sores; and she experienced an overall decline in her health. Doctors did their best but she passed away at a very young middle age. Her estate brought a lawsuit against the nursing home for negligence and wrongful death.
They raised the specter of her time there as well as the injuries she sustained as per se culpability on behalf of the defendant nursing home. In response, the nursing home complained that her harms were a result of her childbirth condition and that it did everything it could.
It took this line of reasoning all the way to court where it lost and miserably to the tune of $1,000,000. That high amount was due to the fact that several family members brought various claims under the umbrella of wrongful death.
$100,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Jersey nursing home bed sore case. Many nursing home residents in New Jersey and all across America are either confined to a wheelchair or a bed for the majority of the day. The plaintiff in this case was no different. He required the use of a wheelchair at all times.
The chair put pressure on certain parts of his body and because he was in it for long periods of time those places developed blisters and sores. They ran along his legs and back. None of sores developed to a critical state before nursing home staff spotted the problem and put him on a course of treatment to prevent further complication.
After the necessary procedures and rehabilitation were completed, the man sued the nursing home for negligence. He sought compensation for his injuries and expenses and alleged that the home was liable because of its deficient care.
The defendant facility filed a reply but its defense did not advance significantly before settlement negotiations commenced. The man recovered $100,000 for his pain, disfigurement, and costs as well as court and attorneys’ fees.
NEW JERSEY NURSING HOME BED SORE CASE TAKEAWAYS
Here are some key takeaways from these New Jersey nursing home summaries that you should remember:
- The scope and size of recovery can be shaped by the kind of bed sore prevention plan the nursing home made and whether or not it followed through on that plan.
- Nursing homes nearly always get some responsibility when residents develop bed sores or their bed sores worsen while there but the amount will vary depending upon the circumstances.
- If the plaintiff can show a pattern of negligence by pointing to other residents that have developed sores at the same facility, then the home might have no choice to settle the matter.
- If the bed sores become infected or otherwise complicated and the resident ends up dying, then the nursing home can be blamed for the entirety of this descent.
DID YOUR LOVED ONE GET A BED SORE IN A NEW JERSEY NURSING HOME?
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