Florida Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit Results in $200M Verdict
A Florida jury has awarded $200 million to the family of a 92-year-old woman who was trapped for an hour at the bottom of a nursing home stairwell before dying.
The nursing home negligence lawsuit was filed by the family of Elvira Nunziata against Pinellas Park Care and Rehabilitation Center and Trans Health Management Inc., which ran the facility.
According to the complaint, Nunziata, who was wheelchair bound and suffered from dementia, fell down the stairwell in her chair in October 2004.
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The lawsuit alleges that as a result of neglect by the nursing home, no one noticed that Nunziata had gone missing for an hour before she was found at the bottom of the stairwell, despite alarms on her clothing and on the emergency door. She was still strapped into her wheelchair when she was found. Paramedics were called but she died shortly after they arrived on the scene.
The Pinellas County jury deliberated for less than an hour before awarding Nunziata’s son and estate $60 million in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages. The verdict is one of the largest nursing home negligence lawsuit awards, if not the largest, in Florida history.
Nunziata had wandered away from a group of residents. She was known to wander and had previously suffered falls and other injuries. Former workers at the nursing home testified that the facility suffered from understaffing at the time of the accident.
Trans Health Management Inc. no longer manages the facility. It is unclear whether the company intends to appeal the verdict.
DeniseDecember 27, 2016 at 8:40 pm
I had to threaten them to send her to the emergency room. Then when she gets to the emergency her records don’t go with her. The emergency room doesn’t know any of history and they do a procedure on her that shouldn’t have ever been done. Then with all this the Health Care Facility didn’t know my mother in law had left the facility, they didn’t she was passed away. I just really upset wit[Show More]I had to threaten them to send her to the emergency room. Then when she gets to the emergency her records don’t go with her. The emergency room doesn’t know any of history and they do a procedure on her that shouldn’t have ever been done. Then with all this the Health Care Facility didn’t know my mother in law had left the facility, they didn’t she was passed away. I just really upset with the Health Care Facility and the Hospital now.
MaryAnnJanuary 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm
I am truly glad the family was compensated but its sad to see how many unknown cases of this matter goes on daily and the ones to suffer are our elderly parents that sometimes are like a child that can not complain in time before they pass. May Nunziata rest in peace.
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