A jury has awarded nearly $19 million in damages against a Brooklyn nursing home to the family of a 76-year-old patient. The patient was neglected so badly that he left with more than 20 bedsores. The award was the first in New York State against a nursing home that includes punitive damages.
John Danzy, the resident, was removed from the Brooklyn Queens Nursing Home after being in the facility for just nine months. The man weighed 237 pounds on admission and walked with a cane. He weighed 148 pounds and had “holes all over his body,” when the family took him out of the facility. Danzy, a retired truck driver and butcher, was moved to another nursing home. Six months later, according to trial testimony, in November 2003, he died from an infection caused by the bedsores.
The jury found that the Cypress Hills facility delivered substandard care. The jurors awarded $3.75 million for the resident’s pain and suffering, and added $15 million in punitive damages. Trial testimony indicated that the home had doctored records to try to cover up the neglect. An FBI expert testified that about 100 different skin-check notes showing “G” for “good” had been penned over to show “B” for “broken” – an effort by the home to claim it hadn’t missed the horrific sores. The agent said that “someone went back and wrote B’s over the G’s to cover their tracks, so they falsified the records.”
The nursing home restrained the Alzheimer’s-stricken Danzy to keep him from wandering off, but left him unattended for long periods. Medical standards require that bedridden or restrained patients be moved every two hours to prevent such sores, but Brooklyn-Queens only moved Danzy every four hours – if at all. Dennis Kelly represented the resident’s family and did a great job.
Source: New York Post
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