Wisconsin Nursing Home Abuse Case Valuation

Nursing Home abuse in WisconsinUnfortunately, abuse in nursing homes is a growing problem. It’s so pervasive because it has so many different faces: mental abuse; physical abuse; emotional abuse; sexual abuse; and financial abuse.

Generally, the most frequent offenders are other residents or the people that work there. However, sometimes intruders or other third parties will be responsible for the abuse as well. To show you the problem of abuse in nursing home in more detail, we present case summaries below but contact our offices if you have any other questions or concerns.

$150,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

This controversy reminds us of the tremendous power nursing homes have over the lives of their residents. It resembled more of a neglect scenario than an actual abuse case but the consequences were just as disastrous for the victim.

The resident was in his late seventies. He had been staying at the nursing home for several years before the events which trigger this lawsuit transpired. Apparently, over the course of several months, staff at the facility failed to give him his medications on a regular basis.

Also, he was actually given the wrong meds on a number of occasions. Plus, when he was finally taken in for treatment, physicians and nurses discovered significant signs of malnutrition. The consequence of all of this was that he needed substantial treatment.

This was not cheap or easy. He had to be seen by costly specialists and endure long-term pain and suffering. In order to recover for the aggravation, injury, and expense of the ordeal, he sued the nursing home for negligence in a Wisconsin court of law.

His lawsuit argued that the defendant facility’s neglect and inadequate treatment amount to malpractice and that he was entitled to compensation for his actual damages. The nursing home denied these claims on all fronts but was not eager to see the matter go to court so they offered a settlement and the man accepted.

He received $150,000 and here is what that value was to be paid for:

  • Medical bills;
  • Court fees and expenses; and
  • Pain and suffering as well as bodily injuries.

$100,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

The circumstances of this action were a bit convoluted from the get-go because the resident was severely incapacitated. She had been living for a long time with significant physical ailments as well as dementia and other mental problems.

Therefore, when issues were finally detected, physicians and others had a hard time distinguishing what just emerged and what had been lingering. However, something was quite open and obvious when she admitted to the emergency room: she had suffered from neglect and abuse while at the nursing home.

Signs pointed to dehydration, malnutrition, physical injuries and other points of pain-all of which should have been impossible if the facility and its staff were doing its job. Clearly, it appeared that they had not.

Her overall condition had deteriorated substantially and she was having particular problems in the respiratory and cardiac areas. She had to spend considerable time in the hospital and rehab units before she could finally go back to a normal living environment.

She sued the nursing home for negligence and maintained that its faulty care led to this chain of events. Her suit plead for compensatory and punitive damages. Before those theories met the eyes and ears of a jury, the parties settled for a reported $100,000.

Here is why that amount might seem slight compared to the injuries sustained and costs associated:

  • Her pre-existing conditions were substantial and the same kind of problems she experienced during these events;
  • The nursing home had evidence of compliance with supervisory procedures; and
  • Her costs were minor compared to the settlement that she received.

$250,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

The events of this case were difficult to extract due to the nature of the private settlement but we can gather a few things. For instance, the nursing home resident did not have any serious pre-existing conditions except old age and a lack of mobility. He did require some medications but it was not an overly complex or numerous regimen.

Apparently, the nursing home staff could not even handle this. It neglected to give him the care, attention, and nutrients that he needed. The consequence of this was that his health quickly declined to the point where he needed emergency medical care. The experience left him critically ill for the foreseeable future.

His day-to-day living standard was drastically reduced. He needed to be put on an increased prescription regimen and see various medical personnel on a regular basis. To recover for the pain and costs, he filed a lawsuit against the nursing home where the events occurred.

He claimed that it was negligent in its derelict supervision of him and that it was legally responsible for his damages which included expenses, bodily harms, and intangible losses. The defendant denied all of these allegations and claimed that the outcomes were a natural result of his old age and condition.

However, they did find their way to the settlement table and here are a few reasons that hint at why:

  • The man’s decline was directly tied to a series of neglect at the hands of the nursing home;
  • The nursing home could not evidence a record of compliance with its own supervisory procedures; and
  • The plaintiff could show a clear reduction in life quality as well as increase in expenses because of the nursing home’s conduct.

$1,000,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

This lawsuit was intriguing because of the parties involved as well as the outcome. The complaint was filed after a woman in her early seventies passed away while under the care of a nursing home. It cited a story of ongoing abuse from her other residents as well as from the employees that worked there. It claimed she was hit, endured mental attacks, and suffered all different kinds of trauma.

The plaintiffs were representatives of her estate including her surviving family members. It didn’t just stop at negligence. To the contrary, it claimed that the totality of this abuse led to her death.

In fact, they argued that she was quite healthy before these events. She did not have any significant pre-existing injuries and she did not have a history of chronic conditions. Therefore, they could only point to the abuse that she experienced as the reason for her death.

However, the defendants had different opinions. Regarding the abuse, they disputed that it occurred or doubted it had the effect that the plaintiffs claimed. However, once the medical records came to light, and the true nature of the abuse she faced became known, then it was almost impossible to deny what the plaintiffs claimed.

At that point, there was not much to litigate and the parties became serious about settling. The plaintiffs received $1,000,000.

Here are some points that reflect this settlement value:

  • Despite its high value, it is not much more than the average or median for wrongful death cases;
  • Many of the decedent’s surviving family members received compensation from the settlement; and
  • The recovery covered damages for expenses, pain, and wrongful death.

$750,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

This lawsuit kicked off when a nursing home resident died well before her time. The death occurred right after she was attacked and sexually abused by a facility employee. The assault occurred in the middle of the night when she was ostensibly supposed to be watched by security guards that watched the premises.

Obviously, this security system failed her. She went from being a healthy-albeit elderly-woman to in critical condition and in danger of losing her life. After she was wrestled from the attacker, staff took her immediately to the hospital so that she could get medical attention.

However, by that time, it was too late. The man who attacked her struck her violently on the head and triggered a heart attack that started a rapid downward spiral.

The combination of these problems was too much for her to take. She died the day after entering the emergency room. Shortly thereafter, a lawsuit was filed on her behalf against the nursing home for wrongful death.

It targeted the home because it failed to protect her from one of its own employees. It cited a string of failures including a lack of proper employee hiring and training. After a series of pre-trial motions and investigations, the defendant nursing home dropped all pretenses of fighting and agreed to settle.

The estate received $750,000 and that was divided the following way:

  • Half of the money went to compensatory damages;
  • A little over one hundred thousand dollars ; and
  • The rest went to fees and expenses.

$500,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

This cause of action was so shocking because it wasn’t a one-time event. The resident was a nursing home resident in her late seventies. Over the course of several weeks, she was harassed and assaulted by her roommate.

Apparently, she reported the events over and over again to the facility staff but nobody heeded her pleas for help. After the final encounter, employees found her unconscious and had to rush to get her to the doctor’s office.

Although the medical staff was able to stabilize her condition, she was never the same again. She was left with serious disabilities, pain, and long-term rehabilitative care needs (which would be very expensive). To recover for these injustices, she sued the nursing home where she resided during the events.

Her suit targeted the defendant home’s failure to readjust after she was successively injured. It sought compensation for various damages including pain and expenses. The defendant refused any responsibility and argued that third parties were liable.

Yet, faced with the task of explaining its lack of efforts, it decided to seek the certainty of settlement and the plaintiff ended up receiving $500,000 in compensation.

$400,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

The premise of this action rested more against another resident than against the actual nursing home. However, it does illustrate the complicated nature of this litigation as well as point out the risks involved in staying at these facilities.

The victim in this dispute was very old-in her early nineties in fact-when the facts surrounding this case occurred. In documents later filed in court, she alleged that another person living there attacked her in her sleep.

The man had been living at the nursing home for an undetermined amount of time but she had been at that location for a very long time. She sustained multiple injuries to her body including lacerations, contusions, and broken bones.

Obviously, she sued the man that attacked her but, interestingly, she also sued the nursing home where the attack occurred. Her suit contended that it was responsible for her overall wellbeing and care while she stayed there and that preventing her from attacks fell within the orbit of that duty.

The nursing home swiftly moved to deny that it could be liable for the intentional acts of residents when they were not foreseeable. It reasoned that it fulfilled its obligations to the woman and that the bulk of the responsibility fell on the man and only on the man.

However, the matter proceeded to trial and as it appeared imminent, all sides readied themselves to settle.

Here is what the woman received from each of the defendants:

  • $100,000 from the other resident; and
  • $300,000 from the nursing home.

$300,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

This lawsuit started as an argument that eventually led to a fight. The parties were two male nursing home residents between the ages of sixty and eighty. The focus of their discord was not determined but the fruit of it was obvious: fists flew, bodies fell, and bones fractured.

At the end of the day, both sides sued each other for intentional torts and for the damages that resulted. However, what is crucial to understand is that each side also sued the nursing home where the tumult took place.

Their complaints listed the nursing home as their own provider; identified the duty that the nursing home owed each of them; listed how the nursing home breached that duty by allowing them to get injured; and then sought compensation for the injuries that the breach caused.

These claims were forceful despite the fact that there was some contributory negligence on behalf of at least one of the residents. The nursing home registered this fact in its defense and repeatedly. It basically articulated that it was a neutral bystander to the fight and circumstances.

It based its defense on the fact that often times intentional torts of third parties exculpate entities that might have otherwise been liable. However, thinking that this argument was not gaining any weight over the course of this litigation, it agreed to come to the table and compensated the plaintiffs accordingly.

  • The plaintiff that did not start the physical altercation received $200,000 for his bodily injuries and suffering; and
  • The plaintiff that did start the physical altercation received $100,000 for his bodily injuries and suffering.

$500,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home abuse case.

This dispute was so controversial because the aggressor was not a resident or employee of the facility. Instead, he was an intruder that entered the premises and battered a woman. The woman was a nursing home resident and seventy-seven years old at the time of the assault.

She was handicapped and had various ailments at the time of the altercation. What apparently transpired is that he found her in the parking lot and jumped upon her sending her to the ground. He didn’t stop there unfortunately.

He repeatedly struck her until security guards found them and wrestled him to the ground. Then, they arranged for the woman to be rushed to the emergency room in order to receive proper medical care. After a thorough examination, it became apparent that she was seriously injured.

She suffered a concussion, broken bones, and other bodily injuries. She needed extensive treatment and rehabilitation in order to gain a sense of normalcy but it was never again the same after that event. After some retrospection and analysis, she decided to sue the man and the nursing home for what took place.

Regarding the nursing home, she argued that it failed to provide a safe place of living and that that negligence was the legal cause of her injuries. The protestations from the defendant facility were loud and convincing.

However, they soon realized that they faced an uphill battle. Wisconsin case law was very hard on nursing homes that failed to protect their residents from the violence conduct of other residents, employees, or third parties.

Seeing the writing on the wall, they worked out a private settlement with the woman for a reported $500,000 for her various expenses and injuries.

WISCONSIN NURSING HOME ABUSE CASE TAKEAWAYS

After looking over the cases that we summarized above, please take the following points into consideration if you or someone that you know was abused in a nursing home.

  1. It is critical in the early stages of a lawsuit to move to preserve evidence and records in order to combat defenses that your injuries are exaggerated of non-existent.
  2. To beat the defense that an employee acted outside the scope of his employment, review the company’s training and supervisory procedures to see whether or not the company tacitly allowed the abuse.
  3. It is important to identify if the nursing home’s insurance policy applies to the particular incident because abuse often takes it outside the realm of coverage.

WAS YOUR LOVED ONE ABUSED IN A WISCONSIN NURSING HOME?

Nursing Home Law News stands up for the rights of abused nursing home residents in Wisconsin. We believe that these homes as well as the large corporations and hospitals they work with should pay for the damage they cause.

If your family member was abused while living at a nursing home, then you should give us a call. We can expedite your claim to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything you deserve. Contact us today. We can begin working right away!

If you would like to learn more about nursing home cases in Wisconsin, please read the following pages:

WISCONSIN NURSING HOME FALL CASES
WISCONSIN NURSING HOME BED SORE CASES

For information on Wisconsin laws and regulations applicable to nursing homes, look here.

If you are looking for information on a facility in a specific city or a local attorney, please visit the pages below.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric