When someone is unable to care for themselves, they will often end up staying in some sort of residential institution, such as a nursing home or a rehabilitation center. These facilities are supposed to care for individuals and make their lives easier. Maryland law imposes a duty on these facilities to care for their residents, and if residents suffer abuse or neglect, such as neglecting medical needs or causing psychological harm, they can hold the institution liable in a civil negligence suit.
One of the most common types of lawsuits filed against a nursing home is a medical malpractice claim, particularly for failing to transport a patient to the hospital when they clearly needed to be treated by a professional. In a recent opinion, a state supreme court considered one of these cases, affirming a jury verdict awarding over $2.2 million dollars to the plaintiff.
According to the court’s written opinion, the seventy-six-year-old plaintiff began experiencing significant knee pain in her right knee, causing her to undergo surgery in early 2014. To recover from the surgery, the plaintiff was transported to a rehabilitation center. While in the center, the plaintiff continued to experience excruciating pain and then began showing signs of confusion in mid-March of 2014. The notes taken by nursing assistants caring for her indicated her confusion, which got worse throughout the night, an elevated heart rate, massive bruising on her leg, and that her right foot curled inward and appeared to be limp. According to the notes, the plaintiff told the nursing assistants that she was in the worst pain of her life, asking them to shoot her to end her misery.
Despite the clearly dire situation, the rehabilitation center did not send the plaintiff back to the hospital right away, instead, waiting several hours until the plaintiff insisted on going to the emergency room. While in the emergency room, it was discovered that the plaintiff had a fractured femur, which had completely severed her artery. As a result, the plaintiff’s right leg had to be amputated at mid-thigh.
The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice suit against the rehabilitation center for their delay in sending her to the hospital, which was found to be a substantial factor in the need to amputate her leg. After a trial, the jury sided with the plaintiff and awarded her $2,265,204 in damages. The rehabilitation center appealed, but the state supreme court affirmed the jury verdict. According to the court’s reasoning, there was no evidence that any significant error had been made by the district court that could stand as a basis to reverse the decision, and no law preventing damages of this amount to be collected by the plaintiff. As a result, the jury verdict remained intact, compensating the plaintiff for the horrendous ordeal she endured.
Contact a Maryland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
If you someone you love has recently been the victim of medical neglect in a Maryland nursing home, Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, may be able to help you collect monetary compensation for your injuries. Our firm handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases from all over the state of Maryland, as well as throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C. We will fight for your legal rights against large nursing homes and their legal teams. To learn more, call us today at 800-654-1949 to learn how we can help you recover.