$29 Million Nursing Home Abuse Verdict Upheld

A recent $29 million verdict in a nursing home abuse and wrongful death case was upheld by a Sacramento Superior Court Judge last week. The underlying case involved the death of a 79 year-old former civil servant who fell at a Horizon West Healthcare facility and thereafter developed a Stage IV bedsore that became infected. The plaintiff in the case argued that the Horizon facility was deliberately understaffed and as a result, provided inadequate care and monitoring. We previously discussed the case at the time of the verdict here on the New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog.

Judge Roland Candee rejected Horizon West Healthcare’s arguments for a new trial or significantly reduced damages. Candee said “overwhelming” and “devastatingly powerful” evidence in the trial in May supported the jury’s verdict and damage awards against Horizon, which owns 33 nursing homes mostly in California.

The jury ruled that Horizon and Colonial committed elder abuse and awarded $1.1 million in damages for Tanner’s pain and suffering and for her daughter’s loss of companionship. A day later, after hearing evidence about the corporation’s finances including its net worth of about $200 million, the panel made the $28 million punitive award.

Candee reduced the pain and suffering damages to $800,000. Including $1.2 million in attorney’s fees, the total judgment is for $29.1 million, believed to be the largest ever for an elder abuse case in Sacramento County.

Website Resource:

$29 million verdict upheld against Rocklin nursing home firm, Sacramento Bee, Cynthia Hubert, July 15, 2010.

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