Jury Finds in Family’s Favor After Nursing Home Resident Dies from Toe Infection

Claims against nursing homes can arise in a variety of circumstances, including abuse, neglect, and failures to properly treat patients in their care. As a result, many of the claims against nursing homes and other long-term care facilities allege the facility was negligent in some way. As in any negligence claim, in a nursing home claim alleging negligence, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty, the breach caused the plaintiff’s injury, and the plaintiff sustained damages.

In nursing home claims, after a plaintiff proves that a nursing home owed a duty to the resident, the next issue is whether the defendant’s conduct fell below the standard of care. This is the standard that a defendant is expected to meet under the circumstances present in the particular situation. In some cases, a nursing home resident may die at a nursing home, but the home may not be at fault. Thus, in order to establish liability, a plaintiff has to show that the facility did not properly care for the resident, and this conduct led to the resident’s injuries. A recent case shows the type of evidence necessary to succeed in a nursing home negligence lawsuit.

Jury Awards Family $450,000 After Resident Dies from Infection

A jury recently found a rehabilitation center was negligent in its care of a blind, diabetic resident,
and it awarded the man’s family $450,000 in damages. According to one news source, the man, a 79-year-old retired tractor mechanic, died in November 2014, just a month after he was admitted to the center. The evidence presented at trial showed that the man was on dialysis and developed an infection in his big toe that turned gangrenous and that led to his right leg being amputated and ultimately to his death.

The man’s family alleged the center was negligent in failing to promptly spot and treat the man’s toe infection. Nurses did not notice the infection until the wound had already turned black and was five centimeters long. The center argued it properly cared for the man, who was suffering from a number of issues when he was admitted.

The man’s son said he was thankful that the jury paid attention and “stood up” for his dad. The jury awarded $100,000 for the pain and mental anguish the man suffered before his death, $75,000 for his son’s loss of companionship, and $75,000 for his son’s mental anguish resulting from his father’s death. The jury also awarded $200,000 in exemplary damages. One juror later said that based on the evidence presented, he believed the facility was grossly negligent.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Serious injuries can take a toll emotionally and financially. At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we handle claims arising from serious or catastrophic injuries sustained in a wide range of situations, including events occurring at nursing homes and recovery facilities. Our firm is ready to fight for the rights of victims in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. areas. Our personal injury attorneys can help you explore your full range of options and advocate vigorously throughout the legal process. Call Lebowitz & Mzhen at 410-654-3600 or contact us through our online form.

More Blog Posts:

Overworked and Overstressed Nurses Are More Likely to Make Serious Mistakes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published April 14, 2017.

Nursing Home Arbitration Clauses Are Not Necessarily Binding, Depending on the Circumstances, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 31, 2017.

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