Massachusetts Nursing Home Lawsuit Results in $14M Verdict

A jury has awarded $14 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against a Massachusetts nursing home, including a rare punitive damages award designed to punish the facility for the poor care provided.

The case was brought by the family of Genevieve Calandro, who died in 2008, at the age of 90, allegedly as a result of severe nursing home neglect while a resident at Radius HealthCare Center in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Calandro had to be taken to a local hospital after falling out of her wheelchair while a resident at the nursing home. It was there that doctors found she was suffering from a litany of health problems, most of which could have been avoided with the most basic of nursing home care.

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Doctors found that Calandro had an untreated bedsore on her back, a severe and untreated urinary tract infection that had poisoned her bloodstream, kidney failure, uncontrolled diabetes, severe dehydration and acute appendicitis. None of the problems appeared to have been treated by Radius, according to the lawsuit.

The family had noticed problems with Calandro before the incident, but they claim that the nursing home told them it was due to a virus that was running through the nursing home at the time.

Calandro died a month after being taken to the hospital, and Radius is no longer in business. However, at the time the company admitted that it had failed to give Calandro the proper care, but rejected claims that its nursing home neglect had led to her death.

Following a trial before a jury in Middlesex County, Calandro’s family was awarded $14 million in damages, including $12.5 million in punitive damages, which are rare in nursing home lawsuits.

Nursing Home Bedsores Can Cause Other Complications

Also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, bedsores can develop in a nursing home as a result of a lack of blood flow to an area of the skin caused by prolonged pressure on one area of the body. They are most commonly found in places with prominent bones beneath thin layers of skin, such as the heels, elbows and tailbone.

Residents with limited mobility, who have trouble or are unable to move independently, face the greatest risk of the painful and potentially life-threatening pressure ulcers.

Most medical organizations consider bed sores to be a preventable condition that can be treated if detected early through proper diligence on the part of medical staff and care providers. Failure to prevent, identify, or properly treat bedsores can result in life-threatening infections that enter the bloodstream, known as sepsis.


  • AdamAugust 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    So sad to read about this stuff. I read another blog this morning about 5 other recent headlines for nursing home neglect: There needs to be more advocacy groups looking out for the elderly, and a lot better screening before hiring people to work in nursing homes!

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