Nursing Home Update - Written by Beasley Allen on Thursday, March 15, 2012 15:28 - 0 Comments
A Pinellas County jury returned a $200 million verdict recently in a nursing home abuse case that resulted in an elderly woman’s death. Elvira Nunziata, a 92-year-old dementia resident at Pinellas Park Care and Rehab Center, while still belted in her wheelchair, fell down ten cement stairs to her death. Three different alarm systems – on her clothing, wheelchair and the “emergency only” exit door to the stairwell – should have been in place and turned on to alert staff to the resident’s whereabouts. But none of the systems protected her from the horrific fall that left her broken and bloody.
Mrs. Nunziata was a resident at the facility from Aug. 14, 2003 until her death on Oct. 12, 2004. The staff knew she was active despite being in a wheelchair and was prone to wandering. Testimony at trial revealed that the facility was chronically short-staffed and short of the most basic supplies. Complaints had been made by former employees to their supervisors, but no action was ever taken to remedy these problems. Caregivers confirmed that during state inspections of the home, the facility would increase staff to give the appearance that they were appropriately staffed at all times. Once the inspectors left, staffing would go back down to dangerously low levels.
After she fell, the resident could have been at the bottom of the stairwell for an hour before she was found. There was evidence that she drowned in her own blood. Investigations by the police and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration revealed that the resident had been seen twice earlier that day trying to get through that same door. Actually a maintenance worker, not the nursing staff, found her at the bottom of the staircase. After this death, the facility spent $5,000 to install magnet locks on all of the doors. This was a simple fix that could have saved a life if it had been done sooner.
The Defendant in this case was Trans Health Management, Inc., which was part of a large conglomerate comprising a Chicago private equity firm, New York investor magnates, and various financiers. Through various mergers and acquisitions, the company grew from 23 homes in two states in 1999 to having more than 200 facilities in 20 states by 2003 – making it one of the largest private nursing home chains in the United States. Once this lawsuit and a number of other lawsuits around the country were filed against the Defendant Trans Health Management, Inc., the company was stripped of its assets in an effort to avoid responsibility.
Bennie Lazzara Jr., Isaac Ruiz-Carus, and Joseph Ficarrotta, lawyers with Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. in Tampa, represented Mrs. Nunziata’s family in the case. They did a good job in this and got a very good result for their client.
Leave a Reply
- Testosterone Multidistrict Litigation Has Been Formed
- Exploding Airbags is the Next Hidden Danger Lurking on the Horizon
- Favorite Bible Verses
- An Update on the Firm's Mass Torts Litigation
- The Civil Justice System Does Make a Difference
- BP's Stay Request Fails Before the Supreme Court
- Eight Car Makers Join in the Recall of Exploding Airbags
- The Deepwater Horizon Claims Program is Up and Running Again
- Favorite Bible Verses
- J&J Pays Oregon $4 Million To Settle Hip Implant Marketing Claims
- EPA Should Update Fracking Pollution Regulations
- Deepwater Fracking Raises Environmental Concerns
- $27.8 Million Settlement Finalized In TVA Coal Ash Spill
- Illinois Transport Company Settles Fatal Crash Suit For $2.7 Million
- Settlement For Family Of College Student Killed In Crash After Alabama National Championship Game
- Macy’s Fined $1 Million For Decapitation Of Warehouse Employee
- Texas Plastics Plant Fined $174,000 For Safety And Health Violations
- OSHA Says Safety Violation Continue At Oklahoma Oil Refinery
- Company Cited In Fatal West Virginia Cell Tower Collapse
- New Safety Directive Issued By OSHA On Communication Tower Work
- $27 Million Verdict Returned In Texas Against McDonald’s
- just checking to see if you got all my paperwork and to see when e would receive...
- Checks will be issued sometime this year. Feel free to call 1-800-549-7320 to ma...
- I received a letter from MetLife saying I am a beneficiary of 2 life insurance p...
- My 2006 Ford F150 Supercrew drivers side window regulator does not go down or up...
- i really appreciate the reports and always take the time to read agood portion o...
- We are original owners of a 2004 F150 Supercrew. We last replaced both front wi...
- My 2004 f250 6 litre diesel started to smell like antifreeze when you would pull...
- I have major water damage from them defective shingles. Ceiling is falling in. T...
Recent Settlements - Feb 9, 2012 7:09 - 0 Comments
More In Recent Settlements
- A Further Update On The AWP Litigation
- Firm Reaches Settlement In Fort McClellan Radio Tower Collapse Case
- Firm Reaches Settlement In Sikorsky Helicopter Crash
- The Philadelphia Story
- St. Croix, Virgin Islands Settlement
Product Liability - Sep 4, 2014 13:13 - 0 Comments
More In Product Liability
- More Problems With Goodyear RV Tires
- NHTSA Offers Online Vehicle Recall Check
- Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Mazda For Engine Valve Defect
- GM Sued For Alleged Antifreeze Defect In Chevy Cruze Models
- Settlement By Kia And Hyundai In Fuel Efficiency MDL Is Approved
Recalls Update - Sep 4, 2014 11:03 - 0 Comments
More In Recalls Update
- USDA Recalls 7.5 Tons Of Applegate Frozen Chicken Nuggets
- J&J Unit Recalls Hysterectomy Device Over Cancer Fears
- Samson International Recalls Bar Stool Due To Fall Hazard
- Bexco Recalls Franklin & Ben Mason 4-in-1 Convertible Cribs Due To Fall And Entrapment Hazards
- Ace Bayou Bean Bag Chairs Recalled Because Of Suffocation And Choking Hazards