$13.2 Million Awarded in Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit

The family of a Jersey City woman who died from complications following her stay at Harborview Health Care Center was recently awarded $13.2 million in damages from a Hudson County jury.  According to allegations in their nursing home negligence lawsuit, their 87-year-old relative suffered not only the effects of gross negligence but a host of needless procedures that put the frail elderly woman at risk for further injury and death.

Court documents show that Mary Dwyer spent almost 100 days at HarborView Healthcare Center after a fall in her home resulted in a shoulder fracture. Her immediate injuries required just a three-day hospital stay, but it was her stint in the nursing care facility that caused her untimely demise, claimed Dwyer’s family.

Nursing home neglect leads to senior’s death

The plaintiff’s elder abuse lawyers argued that during the decedent’s 3-month stay at Harborview, she lost approximately 20 pounds. The suit also contends that nursing home staff failed to perform basic tasks such as turning their bed-ridden patient, resulting in a “massive” bedsore during her stay. Apparently, Harborview personnel only turned Dwyer 10 times during the 282 shifts she was under their care.

Attorneys further claimed that Dwyer was subjected to several pointless surgical procedures, including a colostomy in which her bowels were manually re-inserted in her abdomen. The Jersey City senior died at the age of 87 on February 27, 2010.

“The terrible injuries this poor woman suffered were unnecessary and preventable,” said the plaintiffs’ attorneys in a statement. “With adequate staffing and a properly run facility she would have completed her rehab and gone back home. Instead, she died an undignified death in pain.”

The defendant plans to appeal the verdict, calling the jury’s decision “false, erroneous and a gross miscarriage of justice.” Harborview Healthcare Center is just one of 14 different nursing homes operated under Alaris Health, which is owned by Avery Eisenreich. A statement provided by the defendant’s legal counsel says, “We take allegations against our staff very seriously and intend to vigorously defend and appeal this decision.”

What constitutes elder abuse?

Each year in the United States, a half a million reports of elder neglect and abuse are logged by authorities, while millions more go unreported. Neglect by caregivers manifests in several ways, including physical abuse, such as use of constraints and confinement, as well as emotional abuse. Intimidation, threats, humiliation and other forms of misconduct are all forms of psychological abuse against seniors. Financial exploitation and Medicare fraud are other causes for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against nursing home facilities.

In determining if nursing home negligence or abuse occurred, jurors will look for adequate proof of physical injuries, emotional abuse, signs of sexual assault or financial exploitation.

Legal solutions for victims of nursing home abuse

If you suspect that a loved one has been mistreated physically or emotionally by nursing home providers, you need a team of attorneys who boast the experience to fight for your rights. The New York medical malpractice lawyers of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye offer superior  legal representation to residents of NYC and Long Island, and will fight for maximum compensation.

For a free consultation to determine if you’re eligible for filing a NY nursing home negligence lawsuit, please call 1-800-469-7429. There are no up-front legal fees for an initial case evaluation, and we only collect compensation when you do.