One billion dollars in damages intended to punish a nursing home for neglect so extensive that it led to the early death of a 69-year-old resident was recently awarded to the woman's surviving son by a Florida jury. In addition, another $110 million was awarded as compensatory damages by the jury in at least the fourth case of nursing home abuse and neglect against Trans Health Care, Inc. (THI).
According to the neglect lawsuit, 69-year-old Arlene Townsend had been a resident at a THI nursing home facility in Polk County for six years. During that time, Ms. Townsend suffered repeated falls, 18 in total, with one causing her a hip fracture. The fracture itself was not diagnosed until a week after the fall. Ms. Townsend also suffered dehydration, infection, fecal impaction and other ailments indicative of neglect at the facility that was supposed to provide around-the-clock care.
Nursing Home Neglect In Florida
Neglect can be either a careless act or an intentional act that deprives another person of essential health and safety services. In the case of nursing homes or assisted living facilities, neglect is the failure to provide necessary care, including medical care, access to food and water, supervision and even assistance with personal hygiene.
Signs of nursing home abuse or neglect include bed sores or pressure ulcers from lying in the same position for too long, unexplained bruises, unexplained infections, withdrawal from normal interactions and even silence around one's caretakers.
When you make the decision to seek around-the-clock care for your loved one in a Florida nursing home, you should be able to trust that the facility, its staff and its administration will pay close attention to the physical, medical and emotional needs of your loved one. When this trust is abused, you should speak to an attorney about your right to hold the facility accountable for its bad acts or negligence.
Source: Claims Journal, "Florida Jury Awards $1.2B in Negligence Case," July 25, 2013