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.”
Learn more at http://www.joyceandreyespa.com
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
- NHTSA Releases Report on Pedestrian Deaths in Auto Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just released a report analyzing data for traffic crashes in the U.S. involving pedestrians. The most recent data analyzed is from 2011. For purposes of the report, a pedestrian is anyone on foot, sitting, or lying down, and a traffic crash is any collision involving one or more […]
- Seven Injured in Tampa Bus Crash
The average commuter probably takes it for granted that a trip on a city bus is not dangerous. Buses are safe, highly visible, and heavy vehicles. Traffic laws have special protections for buses. And drivers are (hopefully) well-trained. But for seven HART bus riders in Tampa, a recent trip took a very bad turn. On […]
- Demand Shifts to Other Drugs, Other States Following Florida Pill Mill Crackdown
Florida’s crackdown on pill mills has reduced the number of narcotic-pushing clinics – that much is certain. But to a degree, the demand for the high of a painkiller has simply shifted – both in terms of the drugs sought and in geographical location. Some parts of Florida have seen an increase in the use […]
- Acquitted of Murder, Zimmerman May Yet Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit
On July 13, 2013, after 16 hours of deliberation, the jury in the murder trial against George Zimmerman rendered their verdict: not guilty. That means Zimmerman will not go to prison for the February 26, 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. But his legal troubles are not yet over. As you may […]
- Tips for Safe Driving in the Rain
The rainy season and hurricane season are upon us in Florida. When the roads are wet, auto accidents are far more likely. Problems from visibility to traction to traffic contribute to hazardous conditions. Many of the car accidents in the cases we handle occur on wet roads. Here are some tips to keep in mind […]