As Washington D.C. nursing home negligence attorneys, we have been watching a recent lawsuit where a Humboldt County jury slapped a California nursing home company with a $677 million verdict over staffing.
According to Cindy Cool, whose father was a resident of Eureka Healthcare and Rehabilitation and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, she would often come to visit the home and find her father wearing clothes that were soaked in urine, due to nursing home negligence. Cool claimed that it would often take more than 20 minutes to find a staff member to help care for her father.
Cool is a member of the class-action lawsuit that represents over 30,000 patients that blame the nursing home for abuse and negligence due to staff shortages—a reportedly common complaint with for-profit nursing homes across the country, that homes are more concerned with money than the nursing home care. Cool provided a key testimony last month, which led to the jury deciding on a $677 million verdict.
Cool’s father lived in a home that is operated by Skilled Healthcare, and last month the jury found that the public corporation violated state regulations numerous times, by failing to maintain the number of nurses required for duty, 3.2 nursing hours per patient per day, in its 22 nursing homes throughout the state. The federal recommendation standard for nursing requirements is 4.1 nursing hours per patient.
The verdict reportedly surprised both the lawyers of the plaintiffs and the nursing home industry with the amount, and has been called the largest verdict in this country for this year. The company’s stock price has reportedly plunged, with fears of bankruptcy.
The Associated Press stated that starting in the year 2000, Wall Street investment firms went wild, buying up nursing homes, and according to many nursing home critics, many companies made drastic cutbacks to prop up the prices of stock—which has reportedly led to a demise in the quality of nursing home healthcare.
Both sides are reportedly in negotiations on a settlement, and legal analysts have reported that there is a fair chance for a reduction in the verdict.
If you are worried that a friend or loved one staying at a nursing home in Maryland or the Washington D.C. area has suffered from nursing home abuse or negligence, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC today, for a free consultation. Call us at 1-800-654-1949.
Huge Verdict Shakes up Nursing Home Industry, The Associated Press, August 28, 2010
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