Placing a family member in a nursing home can be an emotional and tolling process. Families spend much time conducting research when searching for a nursing home that can provide the highest degree of care in tending to the specific needs of their loved one. While many nursing homes do provide a high level of care, negligence can occur, and this negligence frequently becomes the basis of many lawsuits.
The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division recently denied pain and suffering damages to the estate of a woman, now deceased, whose bed sore worsened while under the care of nursing home attendants. The Court held that there was no proof the progression of the sore caused the woman additional pain.
The woman had suffered a stroke and was subsequently admitted to the defendant’s nursing home. As a result of the stroke, she also suffered from a condition known as “Locked-In Syndrome.” When she was began her stay with the nursing home, she had a stage three bed or pressure sore. The ulcer progressed to a level four, which is the maximum level, while in the home.
The Estate of the woman brought a medical negligence suit against the nursing home. A jury held in favor of the Estate, attributing 30% of the injury to the nursing home and awarded the Estate a verdict of $49,200.11. This amount included the medical bills for the treatment of the sores, but the jury awarded 0$ for pain and suffering. Since the Estate failed to offer proof that the woman experienced additional pain as her condition progressed, the Appellate Division affirmed the jury’s award of 0$.
Source: Estate Of Phyllis Davis v. Vineland Operations, LLC, App. Div, New Jersey Law Journal, January 31, 2013