In late February 2016, shortly before the March 4 scheduled start of a California nursing home negligence and elder abuse lawsuit, the parties announced that the defendant California nursing home, which charges residents $100,000 per year for nursing home care and promised its residents that it would provide them with appropriate nursing home care, has agreed to pay $1 million to the two adult children of an elderly resident whose bed sore on her back allegedly was not properly treated and led to her death due to sepsis.
The 87-year-old woman had been suffering from cellulitis for about four years before she agreed to be admitted to the defendant California skilled nursing facility for necessary rehabilitation, after which she planned to live with her daughter. At the time of her admission to the nursing home, it was noted that she had a bed sore on her back yet she did not receive immediate treatment for the bedsore at the nursing home which led to its doubling in size, according to her children’s claims against the nursing home.
The nursing home allegedly kept the woman in the nursing home for the entire period for which Medicare pays for such care, changing her required level of care from skilled nursing care to assisted living only when the Medicare-covered period expired.
Four days later, a specialist diagnose the woman’s serious infection on her back due to her inadequately treated bedsore and she was transported to the hospital. Unfortunately, the woman died eight days later, due to sepsis.
The woman’s two children brought a nursing home negligence claim against the nursing home, alleging that the nursing home failed to employ adequate staff with appropriate training which placed its profits over the well-being of its residents. The family’s California nursing home lawsuit also alleged that the facts of their nursing home case supported a claim for elder abuse concerning the lack of appropriate and timely nursing home care that their mother received in the defendant nursing home.
The $1 million settlement is significant because California caps the allowable non-economic damages in nursing home negligence cases to $250,000. The plaintiffs’ lawyers believe that the amount of the settlement signifies that the defendant was concerned about a jury finding that the resident suffered elder abuse while she was a resident in the nursing home, which would have eliminated the cap in this particular case.
Also significant in this California nursing home case is that the defendant did not require the plaintiffs to agree to keep the details of the settlement, including the amount of the settlement, confidential – defendant nursing homes and nursing home chains throughout the United States often require that settling plaintiffs agree to confidentiality, which prevents the public from becoming aware of the alleged claims of nursing home negligence, nursing home neglect, and/or nursing home abuse in those nursing homes, which is a serious disservice to the families of future prospective nursing home residents who are looking for appropriate skilled nursing home facilities for their loved ones.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in California or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, or nursing home abuse, you should promptly find a local nursing home claim lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your possible nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
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