Wisconsin Nursing Home Bed Sore Cases

Bed Sores in WisconsinBed sores (also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers) are not just blisters. Quite to the contrary, they are a serious medical condition that affect many nursing home residents in Wisconsin and all around the country.

How do they come about? Typically, they arise from long periods of pressure or friction from rubbing the skin over materials. In the early stages of bed sores, the skin will blister and break but soon the entire area will be affected including the muscles and tendons.

Here are some Wisconsin nursing home cases that deal with bed sores or pressure sores that developed during an admission to a facility.

$100,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

The resident involved in this situation already had a history of bed sores prior to entering the facility where the events took place. From what we can gather, the home’s staff took that into consideration and crafted a plan to prevent their re-emergence as well as to prevent any other sores from popping up across his body.

Well, things did not go as planned. Instead of preventing them, his condition actually deteriorated substantially during his time there. Several months after he was admitted, nurses and other personnel noted that he was experiencing bed sore symptoms where they had previously caused him trouble.

To account for this problem, they coordinate with his doctors on the best plan of action. However, that ended up requiring a significant amount of work and time rehabbing from the various procedures the doctors performed.

At the end of the day, he was out thousands of dollars and had to endure significant pain and suffering along with that financial toll. To make up for this, he sued the nursing home. He plead for economic and non-economic damages that arose from the affair. Furthermore, he claimed that the home’s negligence was the reason why he suffered them and that they should pay him because of it.

Without much fight, the nursing home settled the matter for $100,000.

Here a few important points regarding the value of this nursing home settlement:

  • This case shows the cut-and-dry nature of a nursing home’s liability when residents develop bed sores on their watch;
  • This settlement is lower than the average but that reflects the fact that the plaintiff did not sustain sizeable expenses or long-term pain.

$1,000,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

The shocking thing about this settlement was the quickness with which the event arose, the lawsuit appeared, and the compromise was reached. The resident was only seventy one at the time of the events which gave rise to the litigation.

She didn’t have a history of bed sores and had previously stayed at other long-term care facilities. However, once she got to the final one, things went downhill and fast. Bed sores developed across her lower spine as well as her upper thighs.

They went from an early stage to a critical stage extremely quickly. Then, the area around the bed sores began to deteriorate. The bones, muscles, and tendons in the neighboring body parts became week and inoperative.

Finally, infection set in on the whole site and her life was threatened. It was only at around this point that nursing home staff figured out what was going on and transferred her to emergency care. Physicians attempted to undo the damage that was done but they didn’t have enough time.

She died from complications related to bed sores. Her estate filed a legal action against the nursing home shortly thereafter. They sought compensation for the pain of her loss as well as the economic damages they suffered as a result. The nursing home demurred on each of these points.

Both sides settled out of court soon after for a reported $1,000,000.

Here are a few points that highlight this high nursing home settlement value:

  • The woman’s relatively long-life expectancy and lack of pre-existing conditions;
  • The nursing home’s complete lack of attention; and
  • State guidelines regarding the care of residents and prevention of bed sores that were not followed.

$50,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

This case materialized and finalized at a rate much quicker than most. In fact, it was so speedy that the defendant nursing home hardly had time to file a reply. That makes gathering all of the facts about the litigation rather difficult but a few points are obvious.

First, the resident had bed sores before the events of this suit took place. Second, they advanced to a minor degree while he was staying at the nursing home. Third, the nursing home identified the complication quickly and worked to ensure that the problem was resolved in consultation with the man’s treating physicians.

So why the lawsuit? Well, he still incurred a great amount of pain and expense because of the ordeal. He argued in brief through his complaint that it was the nursing home’s job and promise that he would be free of these issues.

They didn’t deliver on that promise so they were negligent in his eyes. The nursing home would have made the defense at court that it performed all of its responsibilities satisfactorily but that he developed complications anyways.

Regardless, it should not be held accountable for this progression. Yet, the two sides were able to work out a deal rather quickly as mentioned before.

He received $50,000 for the following damages:

  • $25,000 for economic damages;
  • $15,000 for non-economic damages; and
  • The rest for miscellaneous fees and expenses.

$300,000 NURSING HOME VERDICT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

This dispute involved a woman with severe mental and physical disabilities. She had been in and out of different kinds of care facilities for most of her life. Also, by her representative’s own admission she was relatively difficult to deal with on a daily basis.

She had frequent fits and bursts of anger and routinely got into altercations with other residents and nursing home staff. However, at some point during her stay at the last facility, she developed bed sores.

They were along her heel, back, and legs. They got to stage three under the watch of the nursing home. At that time, she was brought to the attention of specialized physicians where she could be diagnosed and treated.

They elected to perform debridement and other procedures. Unfortunately, it was not enough. Her estate filed a wrongful death action against the nursing home for its deficient care. The nursing home quickly pointed to her conduct and pre-existing conditions as the reason for her problems.

Unable to reach a compromise, the matter went to trial on the merits where the jury found for the woman’s estate. Again, showing the power of a sympathetic jury, they awarded the plaintiffs a sum above what you might have thought a woman with pre-existing conditions and comparative negligence to receive.

They got $300,000 and that was apportioned for the following damages: $100,000 for economic damages and $200,000 for non-economic damages.

$250,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

The victim affected in these circumstances was recently paralyzed by a catastrophic motor vehicle incident before she was admitted to the nursing home in question. What apparently took place while there was that despite their best efforts at rotation and sheet changing, she developed bed sores.

They were around stage three when her doctors took emergency action to resolve the situation. They were afraid that they would get to chronic status and endanger her life so they decided to perform a procedure to stop that possibility.

However, she was still left with sizeable bills, discomfort, disfigurement, and other harms because of the events that transpired at the nursing home. To account for these things, she sued the nursing home in state court for damages.

Her lawsuit was for negligence and alleged that its deficient supervision and care caused her injuries and that it should reimburse for them. The defendant did not deny that the unfortunate had happened.

However, it argued in the alternative that it exhausted its obligations by providing her with the best level of care possible.

Yet, showing their fear of a jury, they still found their way to the negotiating table and she ended up receiving $250,000 in settlement.

Here are a few facts that support this nursing home settlement value:

  • The woman was relatively young so the issues of disability and disfigurement were strong;
  • The nursing home could not point to strong evidence of compliance with its original plans to prevent bed sores; and
  • This case again highlights the strong burden nursing homes have to prevent the emergence of bed sores on residents.

$1,250,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

This dispute was hotly contested and argued in discovery and motion practice. The outcome of the events was clear but the cause and culprit were debated. The plaintiff was an estate of a recently deceased nursing home resident.

The woman was restricted to a wheelchair for much of her life and had spent a number of years in various nursing facilities as well as in and out of hospitals. At some point during her stays at these facilities, she developed bed sores.

Their emergence was not particularly surprising given her health status but the severity of the sores was striking. Eventually, physicians took over and attempted various procedures in order to curb the problem and protect her life.

Tragically, they were unable and she passed away in her middle seventies leaving several surviving family members. They consulted with their attorneys and filed a cause of action against the last two nursing homes where she had stayed prior to her death. It concluded that their combined negligence, malpractice, and contractual breaches was the legal cause of her passing.

Therefore, they were obligated to pay them compensation for the tangible and intangible damages that resulted. Both defendants denied fault and pointed the finger at the other as well as other causes that could have created this situations. However, in these circumstances, it was clear that both of them committed a certain level of negligence.

Therefore, settlement appeared unavoidable and it was eventually reached for the sum of $1,250,000.

Here is what each of the defendants paid to the woman’s estate:

  • $500,000 from the second to last nursing home where she stayed;
  • $500,000 from the final nursing home where she stayed; and
  • $250,000 from the hospital where the final treatments occurred;

$500,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

This lawsuit involved a disabled resident. He was in his early seventies and had been living with the condition for a long time before the relevant events took place. Over the course of several months, he developed bed sores that eventually reached stage four which is a critical state.

When nursing home staff finally detected the problem, they arranged for him to be transferred to a nearby hospital for advanced screening and treatment. However, during the course of their examinations, the treating physicians found out that he had sepsis and that the sepsis complicated the bed sores.

From this point forward, his health rapidly descended and he passed away just a few weeks later. He was survived by a few children and several grandchildren.

They all had several questions after his death. How could this happen? What precautions were being taken? Could this have been avoided?

After they met with their lawyers and conducted a fair amount of investigation, they realized that a lot of what happened could have been prevented if the nursing took reasonable steps to protect his health. They brought a lawsuit in Wisconsin court to recover for the injustice that occurred.

They asked for wrongful death compensation as well as for the expenses that emerged from the events. The defendant denied all fault but early on entered into negotiations.

The family received $500,000 that was apportioned in the following manner:

  • Roughly half was given to the family for wrongful death compensation; and
  • The rest was divided up for economic damages, fees, and expenses

$1,500,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

The person at the middle of this storm was a very young person with respect to bed sore litigation. Whether in Wisconsin or any other state for that matter, you typically don’t see people in their thirties associated with bed sore lawsuits.

That is why the case was so unusual and, frankly, why the settlement was so high. The man was in a care facility because he suffered from an illness suffered at childbirth. The condition required constant care and attention.

Also, it meant that he could not move about on his own. He needed help in all aspects of life including eating, washing himself, and clothing himself. Yet, despite their best efforts, the nursing home staff were unable to prevent him from getting bed sores. They were right where his spine met his buttocks and they were deadly serious.

The doctors tried to stem the tide but an infection took hold and it spread quickly. He passed away before much time had passed away at all. He was survived by parents and siblings. They sued the nursing home for wrongful death and negligence.

Their complaint listed several errors (including failures to turn him and change his clothes and sheets regularly) that contributed to his death and sought compensation accordingly. The nursing home cried foul.

It argued that his death was a consequence of pre-existing issues and that it completed all of its responsibilities under the law and contract. Yet, convinced it couldn’t win at court, it agreed to settle after a series of back and forth exchanges with the plaintiff as well as after a certain amount of discovery and investigation.

The estate received $1,500,000.

$75,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:

Wisconsin nursing home bed sore case.

The plaintiff in this lawsuit was an elderly man. He was confined to a wheelchair for nearly all of his day. Apparently, nursing home staff did not take this special concern into consideration.

He was left in the chair for stretches of hours at a time without rotation or any other attempt to prevent sores. As it turned out, he did develop them. He got sores along his heels and a few other places on his body.

They weren’t too bad though. They only got to early stages, stages two and three across various sores.

However, they did necessitate the need for significant medical treatment. He had to see specialists and they had to perform complex medical testing and treating procedures. At the end of the day, he was out a lot of money.

Plus, he experienced a fair amount of pain, pressure, and stress due to the incident. To recover for all of these things, the sued the nursing home where he was staying at the time.

He charged the defendant facility with negligence. In particular, he alleged that its supervisory system, risk procedures, and implementation programs were all deficient and the cause of his injuries.

The defendant disputed that it was responsible but after a long series of pre-trial work they were convinced to settle. The plaintiff received $75,000 for his economic losses, physical injuries, and intangible damages.

WISCONSIN NURSING HOME BED SORE CASE TAKEAWAYS

Wisconsin bed sore cases can get quite messy and complex. They are made even more complicated by the fact that the defendants-the nursing homes- are well-resourced and litigious. Here are a few important takeaways from these cases that you should remember:

  1. One common point of contention in nursing home litigation is what kind of assessment and plan the facility created to prevent bed sores when the resident was admitted. Also, whether or not they followed through on that plan is an important area to focus on.
  2. Nursing homes face almost strict liability if a resident develops bed sores or if they worsen while the person is living there.
  3. Nursing homes have little success when they have allowed other residents to develop bed sores on their watch.
  4. Bed sores can lead to death if they complicate with an infection like sepsis.

DID YOUR LOVED ONE GET A BED SORE IN A WISCONSIN NURSING HOME?

The team of attorneys at Nursing Home Law News has broad experience managing nursing home lawsuits involving bed sores. We can lead your case from inception to settlement or even jury award. You should not miss out on one dollar of compensation that belongs to you and we can make sure that never happens. Contact Nursing Home Law News today to begin down the road to recovery!

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

WISCONSIN NURSING HOME ABUSE CASES
WISCONSIN NURSING HOME FALL 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.

Justia Lawyer Rating for Jonathan Rosenfeld

Client Reviews

★★★★★
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
★★★★★
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