$29 Million Verdict Serves as a Public Reminder – Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect is Against the Law!
Unfortunately, elders in nursing homes often experience some form of neglect or abuse. While national statistics on elder abuse are currently not recorded, in 2004, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) estimated a 19.7 percent increase in the total reports of elder abuse and neglect and a 15.6 percent increase in substantiated cases since the last survey was conducted four years prior. They also found that 1 to 2 million elders have been “injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated.”
Nursing home abuse is morally reprehensible and against the law. However, it is still a prevalent problem. What would motivate nursing home facilities to break the law? Profit. Nursing homes run like a business – they will act in a way which maximizes profits at the expense of their patients’ health and safety.
To achieve higher profits, they will often hire people who are unfit for their positions, inadequately train them, or fail to run background checks on them (thereby exposing patients to potentially dangerous individuals). In addition, nursing homes will hire only the bare minimum necessary for the nursing home to function, resulting in nursing home employees caring for more patients and having more responsibility than they can handle.
The result can be devastating. Elders in nursing home facilities require 24 hour care and often suffer from an illness or disability. Many require numerous daily medications just to function at a minimal level. Forgetting to administer proper medication or over-medicating a patient can result in severe illness or even death. Abuse – physical, sexual, verbal, etc. – can also permanently affect a patient’s health and compromises his or her safety.
What makes matters worse is that many patients are unable to report instances of abuse or neglect. Nursing home patients are often unable to effectively communicate. Those who do report abuse may not be believed, or don’t report it for fear of retaliation.
So what can you do if your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home facility? Find an experienced elder abuse attorney to handle your case. Lawsuits against nursing home facilities are numerous and often involve multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts.
Sacramento County recently upheld a $29 million verdict ($1.1 million for pain and suffering and a whopping $28 million for punitive damages) for the death of a 79 year old female nursing home patient, Frances Tanner. She was originally admitted into the Rocklin nursing home with mild dementia and died just 7 months after admittance from an infected bed sore. The patient’s death was deemed a direct result of the nursing home’s illegal understaffing of its facility, resulting in patient neglect and Tanner’s untimely and tragic death. The $29 million verdict is believed to be the largest ever for an elder abuse case in Sacramento County.
York Law Firm specializes in nursing home abuse cases and we have obtained our clients millions for their wrongful treatment. What makes us so successful is our desire to fight injustice and protect the rights of the “little guy.” We will fight against the system responsible for injuring your loved one.