Joyce & Reyes Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Hails $1.1 Billion Verdict in Negligence Case
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 17, 2013 – A Polk County, Fla., jury awarded $1.1 billion in damages against a nursing home due to negligence.
The jury decided that defendants Trans Healthcare, Inc. (THI) and Trans Healthcare Management caused Arlene Townsend years of suffering in their chronically under-staffed nursing home, Auburndale Oaks in Bartow, Fla. The award included $110 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages.
“An award of this size is a very strong warning against neglect in nursing homes,” observed Robert Joyce, a Tampa nursing home abuse attorney who is not involved in the case. “Even if the majority of these damages are never recovered, nursing homes will still sit up and take notice. I think this jury wanted to send a message: The neglect or abuse of vulnerable elderly Floridians will not be tolerated.”
Townsend’s son decided to move his mother to Auburndale Oaks following a stroke that left her in need of round-the-clock care. During her six-year stay there, she suffered 18 falls, one of which resulted in a fractured hip that was not diagnosed or treated for a week, according to plaintiff’s attorneys. She also had chronic infections, stomach pains, skin wounds, dehydration, and malnutrition. She died on Sept. 19, 2007, aged 69.
The lawsuit was initially filed in 2009. The defendant companies stopped participating in the lawsuit, according to TheLedger.com, and the court ruled against them by default in 2011. At the recent trial, jurors were instructed to determine the amount of damages that should be awarded. The defense attorneys’ request to undo the default judgment was denied, and they argued at the trial in favor of what they considered appropriate monetary damages.
According to WTSP News, this is the fourth multi-million-dollar verdict against THI. In 2010, the jury in another case handed down a $114 million verdict against the company.
“Clearly, the jury saw evidence of severe neglect on the part of the operators of this nursing home,” Joyce added, “as several other juries already have.”
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
View Larger Map
- High School Football Player Regains Consciousness Following Severe Head Injury
As personal injury attorneys with extensive experience in brain injury, we have covered and continue to follow the debate raging over the effects of concussion in sports. The NFL recently reached a huge settlement with many former players over cumulative brain injuries, and many high schools nationwide have implemented stricter safety policies to protect young [...]
- Head-On Collision Claims Life of Zephyrhills Woman
A woman from Zephyrhills, Fla., was killed in a head-on collision in Tampa on a recent Friday morning during predawn hours. Rita Marie Sutliff, 69, was southbound on Morris Bridge Road near Pictorial Park Drive when she collided with a car driven by Kunjummen Arun Babu, 18. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Babu [...]
- Auto Safety Agency Touts Accident Prevention Potential of Two Vehicle Systems
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently brought attention to a pair of vehicle systems that are important for auto accident prevention. One is a high-tech system that is a new addition to the agency’s list of recommended safety features for new cars. The other is low-tech and present on all cars, but one [...]
- Can a Third-Party Texter Be Held Liable for the Recipient’s Distracted Driving?
A Florida law forbidding text messaging and some other uses of electronic devices while driving went into effect on October 1, 2013. Responsible drivers know they should not send text messages while behind the wheel. But what about sending text messages when the recipient may be driving? If you know the person you want to [...]
- Use of High-Tech Pain Management Alternatives Increasing in Wake of Florida Pill Mill Crackdown
In the two years since the beginning of Florida’s pill mill crackdown, doctors, drug dealers, and drug abusers who are only interested in exploiting the system have been driven out of the state in large numbers. But even legitimate doctors with patients who face real pain are taking more time to discuss and explore alternatives [...]