A wrongful death lawsuit over a nursing home fall has resulted in a staggering $114 million verdict against a Florida nursing home.
The lawsuit was filed by the family of Juanita Jackson, 76, against IHS of Florida, now known as the Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, and its previous management companies, Trans Healthcare Inc. and Trans Healthcare Management. Jackson died five months after she was placed in the facility.
According to the Florida nursing home neglect lawsuit, the facility failed to put in place proper preventative measures to keep Jackson from falling, despite being warned she was an at-risk resident. After she was in the home for only two weeks she fell and suffered a closed-head trauma and fractured her upper arm. The lawsuit alleges that she never recovered from those injuries.
Although elderly and ill nursing home residents are often more prone to falling, nursing homes have an obligation to take steps to minimize the risk of falls, or they could be held liable through a nursing home negligence lawsuit. Accepted standards of care and federal nursing home regulations require every facility to perform a fall assessment on each new resident and develop a plan to lower the risk of a fall in a nursing home. This plan should be updated whenever the resident’s medical condition changes.
Following her fall, Jackson allegedly suffered from malnourishment and dehydration in the nursing home, as well as a number of nursing home bed sores, according to a report in The Ledger. The family removed Jackson from the nursing home in May 2003, after only being there for three months. She died two months later on July 6, 2003.
The family characterized the facility’s actions as nursing home abuse. The jury in the Tenth Circuit Court of Polk County agreed and issued a $114 million verdict against the company, which may be the largest monetary verdict ever in the county’s history.