With a rise in the population of the elderly has also come a rise in complaints and accusations of abuse and neglect against the facilities that care for this population. Many of these complaints give rise to lawsuits. Recently, a jury awarded what is believed to be a record amount in such a lawsuit.
A jury in Pueblo, Colorado recently awarded a record $5.5 million dollars in damages in a lawsuit against the Life Care Center of Pueblo. The case is the most recent of three wrongful death suits that have been filed against the facility.
A jury awarded the family of Sophia Alcon $500,000 in damages for wrongful death, $57,000 in damages for negligence and $5 million in punitive damages. The other two lawsuits involved patients Dorothy Balch in 2013 and Sophia LaCombe in 2014.
Alcon was first admitted to Life Care Center in April of 2013 and passed away just six months later.
The attorney for the family, Brent L. Moss, argued that during her stay, Alcon was a victim of repeated abuse and neglect which led to her death.
During the lawsuit, Moss pointed out that state inspectors cited the facility for deficiencies which were relevant to Alcon’s injuries. These injuries included precipitous weight loss, bed sores, and urinary tract infections.
Life Care Centers of America is the parent company of Life Care Center of Pueblo. The company is a for-profit entity based out of Cleveland, Tennessee, and operates more than 200 nursing homes nationwide.
On May 3rd, the Justice Department filed suit against company owner, Forrest Preston, alleging that his company engaged in a widespread scheme aimed at maximizing Medicare billing.
The Executive Director of Life Care Center of Pueblo issued a public statement indicating that they planned on appealing the verdict. The facility cited HIPAA concerns for not discussing this or any ongoing or previous lawsuits.
If you or a family member has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of Schenk Smith to speak with an attorney about your case today.