Dethel Bell, 84, was a resident at Palm Garden of West Palm Beach Nursing Home.  While a nursing aide was performing a transfer, she was dropped to the floor suffering a broken hip that required surgery to repair it. Her injuries led to “pain and suffering and inability to trust her caregivers.”

Through her attorney-in-fact, Bell sued the nursing home, alleging negligent failure to provide appropriate services, negligent hiring, retention, and supervision. It also alleged that the nursing aide’s acts led to the liability of the nursing home by way of vicarious liability.

At arbitration, an award of $197,100 was entered, including $130,000 for Bell’s mental anguish.

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After being hospitalized for a stroke, Calvin Thigpen, 68, was admitted to Waters Edge Rehabilitation & Care Center in a vegetative state. During approximately the next six months, he developed pressure sores on his sacrum, his heel and the back of his head. In addition, he suffered infections and a tear to his penis.

After his death, Thigpen’s estate sued the nursing home, its owner, and its operating company, alleging negligent care and inadequate staffing.

The nursing home and its owner defaulted. The court entered a judgment in the amount of $1.4 million in favor of the Thigpen estate. It was not reported as to whether the sum was recovered.

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Jennie Serfass was admitted to the dementia unit at Arden Courts of Yardley. At the time, in addition to dementia, she also suffered from chronic urinary tract infections, hypertension and glaucoma. She used a cane to help her move and walk.

Several months after Serfass’s admission, she suffered two unwitnessed falls. She was hospitalized and transferred back to the nursing home where she suffered an additional fall that resulted in a femur fracture.

Serfass’s mental status declined on her readmission to the nursing home. She then developed numerous pressure sores, which caused her condition to deteriorate. She subsequently passed away.

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Fannie Dillard lived at Springfield Residences, an assisted living facility.  After she fell, she developed sepsis and a Stage IV decubitus ulcer on her sacrum, which led to her unfortunate death more than a year later.

She was survived by her daughter.  Dillard’s daughter sued the facility, alleging claims of wrongful death and a survival claim.

Before trial, the Dillard family and assisted living facility reached a confidential settlement for an undisclosed amount.

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Thelma Brown, 90, was suffering from dementia and required the use of a wheelchair. While a resident at Brookdale Charlestown Nursing Home, she suffered multiple falls and developed a urinary tract infection that led to sepsis and ultimately caused her death. She was survived by her adult daughter.

Brown’s daughter, on her behalf, sued the nursing home’s owner alleging that it chose not to properly monitor her mother’s well-being, provide sufficient staff in training, and modify her care plan when her health deteriorated.

The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that Brown’s injuries came from her poor medical condition and that her injuries were not a cause of her death.

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A nursing home resident, Concetta DeMarco, was seated in a wheelchair in a transport vehicle driven by an agent of Lifeline Medical Services Inc.

During the trip, the van suddenly stopped, causing the wheelchair to flip over backward. DeMarco, 68, hit her head and suffered bilateral subdural hematomas, which required surgery.

DeMarco subsequently developed a seizure disorder, which complicated her recovery. Unfortunately, she died approximately one year after this incident. She was survived by her two children.

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The plaintiff-respondent Melanie Arace, as personal representative and successor in interest for Grace R. Miller and Trustee of the Grace R. Miller Trust of May 8, 2002, filed a complaint against Medico Investments LLC, which is a residential care facility owner.

The Melanie Arace lawsuit alleged that Medico or its employee, Elizabeth Colon, engaged in multiple acts of elder abuse of Miller.

The jury signed a verdict in favor of Melanie Arace for Grace R. Miller, which included an award of damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

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Nicholas Zilocchi was admitted to the Garden Spring Center Nursing Home after undergoing a leg amputation. At the time of his admission, it was recorded that he had skin tears and wounds, and he was anxious and agitated about these injuries.

Over the next few days, Zilocchi was diagnosed as having additional bed sores including one on his right heel that could not be staged. He was later admitted to a hospital for treatment of septic shock, respiratory failure and necrotic skin wounds that included his right heel. Despite the treatment that he received at this hospital, he died.

Zilocchi’s adult daughter, on behalf of the estate, sued the nursing home’s owners alleging that they chose not to treat his existing pressure ulcers and skin wounds and prevent new bed sores from developing. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants had decided not to provide basic hygiene and health care to while he was a resident at this nursing home.

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A state court has found that the plaintiff’s claim that a home health caregiver and agency may be liable for the caregiver’s negligence in supervising a patient but it did not amount to a medical negligence case.

Tammy Upchurch was an employee of Right at Home; she was assigned to provide at-home caregiving services to Ida Stratz. During Upchurch’s shift, she fell asleep. While Upchurch was sleeping, Stratz wandered outside her residence. Several hours later, she was found lying face-down in the snow, unconscious.

Stratz was taken to a nearby hospital where she died. Stratz’s estate sued Upchurch and Right at Home, alleging liability for Stratz’s death.

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Doe, age 12, was removed from her mother’s home. The Devereux Foundation placed Doe in a home of the child’s estranged father, who had a verified history of sexually abusing a minor. During the next year-and-a-half, Doe’s father allegedly raped Doe.

Doe, through a representative, filed suit against The Devereux Foundation, alleging negligent placement in an unsafe environment, choosing not to complete a home study and reunification report, and deciding not to remove her from the home after information came to light regarding her father’s history and after a review revealed that mistakes have been made during the course of her placement.

The lawsuit also named Eckerd Youth Alternatives Inc., which performed the background screening on Doe’s father and had subcontracted Doe’s placement to The Devereux Foundation, alleging that Eckerd failed to ensure that Devereux had adequately performed its responsibilities.

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