On September 26, 2018, a West Virginia nursing home negligence jury returned its verdict in the amount of $905,000 against a local West Virginia nursing home for its negligence and recklessness that resulted in the choking death of a 72-year-old resident on December 24, 2012. The West Virginia nursing home negligence jury awarded $305,000 in punitive damages (included in the $905,000 total damages awarded by the jury) because it determined that the defendant nursing home was reckless and its recklessness resulted in the woman’s death.
The resident was not placed on a regular diet due to her dysphasia and esophageal stricture. The defendant nursing home also required that the resident be supervised while eating, that she not be in a reclined position while eating, and that she alternate between eating and drinking. Despite such safety precautions that were in place for the resident in order to avoid a known choking risk, on the third day after her admission to the defendant nursing home, the resident was provided a hamburger and carrots, and she was unsupervised and in a reclining position while eating. The resident apparently choked to death as a result, and her death was not discovered for two hours.
The West Virginia nursing home negligence jury was also provided evidence that the resident received unscheduled pain and anti-anxiety medications, and that the defendant nursing home failed to document that the resident had received her regular medications.
The plaintiff’s nursing home claim lawyer stated after the jury rendered its verdict, “The jury was extremely thoughtful and found not only that there was negligence on the part of the facility but also found that the facility’s conduct was reckless.”
The defendant West Virginia nursing home states on its website that it “provides individualized care that is tailored to each patient’s unique treatment needs. Our highly trained staff – including registered nurses, state-tested nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered dietitians, psychologists and counselors, social workers, pastoral care workers and a skilled team of physical, occupational and speech therapists – uses state-of-the-art equipment and a multidisciplinary approach to provide comprehensive nursing and rehabilitation care. With patient safety as our primary focus, our goal is for patients to feel comfortable, informed and cared for every single day.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in West Virginia or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home under-staffing, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in West Virginia (a West Virginia medical malpractice lawyer) or a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
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