The rate of abuse in New York nursing homes is staggering both from other residents and staff. It comes in so many forms too: physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and financial.
It’s particularly offensive in this context because of the mission of nursing homes and the susceptibility of residents. This makes nursing home lawsuits so important-to get the victims the awards that they need and to give homes the discipline that they deserve.
To show you the problem of nursing home abuse and the opportunity of nursing home lawsuits, we’ve assembled the following New York nursing home abuse cases for you to review:
$1,500,000 NURSING HOME VERDICT:
Erie County, New York nursing home abuse case.
The nursing home victim in this trial was a recently deceased woman. She was about eighty at the time of her death and her lawyers contended that it was a tragic and painful passing because of the actions of the defendant facility. The event that set off the affair was when staff at the home abandoned the woman for several hours.
The neglect had its consequences-she broke arm and elbow and had to be taken to the hospital.
It was there that doctors discovered she was suffering from general neglect and abuse as evidenced by bed sores that extended down into the bone, dehydration, and malnutrition. As these circumstances were made clear to a jury, the defendant retorted that they were a function of the woman’s pre-existing conditions including dementia and peripheral vascular disease.
The men and women on the jury thought these facts were unrelated and awarded the woman’s estate $1,500,000 for the pain and suffering she experienced prior to her death.
Here are some things that might explain that recovery:
- The jury has wide license to award victims worthy of sympathy with large awards that ignore any contributory negligence or pre-existing injury that they might have had.
- Plaintiffs’ lawyers in these cases typically use “downward spiral” to show that the defendants’ actions reduced the quality of life of the victims before they died. This explains why they might receive higher sums where the original injury might not have been so traumatic.
$400,000 NURSING HOME VERDICT:
Bronx, New York nursing home abuse case.
This New York nursing home lawsuit was a rather gruesome affair. The victim was an elderly woman who had been residing at the facility for some time due to her incapacity. She was diagnosed with dementia and other prohibitive health conditions.
One day she was being rolled through a door on her wheelchair when someone else (it’s not clear from court documents if it was either a staff member or other resident) suddenly slammed it.
Right away two of her fingers on her dominant hand were chopped off and she needed swift emergency care to stem the bleeding and sow the cuts back up. After she had spent some time in recovery, she decided to sue the nursing home because she felt that it failed to give her appropriate care as New York’s health laws demanded.
In particular, she felt that it didn’t monitor her sufficiently, staff enough people, and generally provide the type and level of care that she deserved.
The defendant nursing home denied all of these points and challenged the woman that she was negligent and responsible for her own injuries.
That’s not how the jury saw it though because they awarded the woman $400,000 in compensation potentially because of the following points:
- The woman was left with severe disability, disfigurement, and future pain and suffering because two of her fingers were amputated.
- The charge of comparative negligence might not have been so successful because she was mentally incapacitated due to dementia and other conditions.
$18,750,000 NURSING HOME VERDICT:
Kings County, New York nursing home abuse case.
This case had a lot of components of many other different kinds of nursing home cases. In total, though, it summed to equal an abuse suit. Here were the injuries: infections; malnutrition; dehydration; bed sores; bruises; and more.
Here were the allegations: lack of monitoring; unqualified staff; deficient equipment; and more.
The nursing home victim was seventy-five at the time and experiencing symptoms related to dementia before this all began. His lawyer brought suit against the nursing home for wrongful death and negligence and alleged the injuries described above in addition to being allowed to sit in feces for a considerable amount of time.
The lawsuit contended that all of this abuse killed him and it sought damages for the pain and expense of the series of events.
The defendant denied that it was at fault and argued that it gave him the proper standard of care required in the circumstances. The jury came down for the plaintiff’s estate and gave it $18,750,000 for lost services.
Here are some insights into this nursing home verdict:
- Many of his injuries were signs of blatant errors on behalf of the nursing home including bed sores, malnutrition, and being allowed to sit in his feces.
- The fact that this case got to a jury instead of settling drastically increased the chances of a large award because the jury’s sympathy could come into play as it viewed the victim’s egregious injuries.
$600,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
Kings County, New York nursing home abuse case.
The resident in this story was a woman in her late thirties. She was mentally disabled and living at the nursing home for constant care. That’s not what she received. On one particular occasion, a member of the home’s staff pushed her into a shower despite her protests that the water was hot. In fact, it was scalding hot.
The employee would’ve known that had she ever checked but she had not. The resident was harmed a lot by the episode. The water burned her and left her with second degree burns. She endured significant suffering and pain as well as disfigurement from the event. She sued the home to recover damages and alleged its negligence was the cause of her injuries.
The defendant could not fall back on any serious defense and offered to settle.
She recovered $600,000 in compensation most likely for the following points:
- The woman’s scarring would cause her discomfort well into the future.
- The woman’s young age meant that she would have to live with the disfigurement and the emotional toll that came with it for a long time.
- The incident cost her thousands of dollars in medical and other expenses.
$90,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
Queens, New York nursing home abuse case.
The resident at the heart of this incident was eighty-two. She broke her hip and damaged her brain when an employee shoved her off a toilet. The staff member claimed that she was only trying to assist the woman use the facilities but the plaintiff claimed that she didn’t ask for help. Therefore, the physical contact was nonconsensual in her opinion.
She sued the nursing home facility as well as the employee. Her lawsuit contended that their negligent training, supervision, and conduct caused her injuries.
They disagreed but wanted to settle the matter and she received $90,000. Here are some things that might explain this amount:
- The nursing home received a fair amount of negative attention surrounding this incident because it appeared that the woman was mistreated; thus, they were more inclined to settle.
- The woman’s settlement nearly tripled her economic damages.
NEW YORK NURSING HOME ABUSE CASE TAKEAWAYS
It is staggering just how much abuse residents have to put up with while staying at a nursing home. If you are involved in such an event, then take a look at the case summaries above then remember the following points:
- Investigation and evidence collection will be crucial to your claim because nursing homes inevitably will try and claim that the event never happened or never harmed you to the extent that you claim.
- To beat the defense that an employee acted outside of the powers given by the nursing home, review the facility’s hiring, monitoring, and training policies and procedures.
- Your nursing home might have an insurance policy that applies to this type of incident and might make it a lot easier to obtain compensation.
WAS YOUR FAMILY MEMBER ABUSED WHILE STAYING IN A NEW YORK NURSING HOME?
If you were abused at the hands of a nursing home or other resident, then you need to call the offices of Nursing Home Law News. We can make sure that the people who injured you or your loved ones give you the respect and recovery that you deserve.
Plus, we’ll do it all for free until you get the award or settlement that you need. Just contact us today to get the process. It won’t take more than a few minutes.
For information on laws and regulations applicable to New York nursing homes, look here.
If you are looking for information on a local nursing home or for a lawyer who has experience with nursing home negligence matters, please refer to links below: