Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are on the rise. Unsurprisingly, states with higher elderly populations seem to have the largest number of lawsuits as well.
California, Texas, Illinois, and Florida lead that list, with both the highest elder populations and the highest number of nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits.
However, as a percentage of nursing home beds, these states have a disproportionate number of lawsuits.
Let’s take a closer look at Florida and some of the largest Florida nursing home abuse settlements…
With over 630 nursing homes and over 71,000 nursing home residents, the state of Florida accounts for roughly 4% of the nation’s nursing home facilities and over 6% of the nursing home population in the United States.
While Florida certainly has a high number of nursing home facilities, and residents, the percentage of nursing home abuse cases per bed, is much higher than the national average.
According to a 2003 study conducted by the Oxford Academic Research Department, the state of Florida had approximately 29 abuse claims per 1,000 occupied nursing home beds.
That means nearly 30 percent of nursing home residents raised some sort of abuse or neglect claim during the time period of which the study was conducted.
Within that same study, it was found that the number of Florida nursing homes cited for inadequate staffing nearly tripled over a 7 year period from 1993 to 1999.
By the year 2000, nearly 13% of nursing homes in the state of Florida had been cited for inadequate staffing.
Even more disturbing, the study found that between 1996 and 2000, over a 5 year period, 924 lawsuits had been filed against 241 nursing homes in Central Florida alone.
This equated to a 300% increase in nursing home abuse cases in central Florida, compared to the previous 5 year period.
There are a number of theories as to why the number of nursing home abuse cases in Florida are increasing at such an alarming rate, but one thing is for sure, it is extremely important to do your due diligence when searching for the right care facility for your loved one.
While we may not know the exact reason for the rise in cases, let’s take a look at some of the largest nursing home abuse settlement amounts in the state’s history…
In this rather disturbing account of abuse, a male nursing home facility employee physically hit and assaulted a female resident while she was in her bed.
The female resident suffered from visible physical injuries as a result of the attack.
Typically, with this type of attack, the employee, not the employer would be responsible for the damages.
However, the most alarming fact in this case, was that this particular employee had a history of abuse against residents at other facilities, as well as in his personal life.
In this case, the victim’s attornies were able to demonstrate that not only did the man have a prior record of this type of abuse, but the management staff at the nursing home facility did not conduct a thorough background check on the individual prior to hiring him.
Not only did the facility fail to properly vet the employee prior to employing him, but they also neglected to properly supervise him once he got the job, resulting in his abuse of the victim.
The plaintiff’s attornies were so convincing in their evidence and arguments in the pre-trial documents, that the nursing home had no choice but to settle.
The woman received $420,000 in this Florida nursing home settlement.
In Florida’s third-largest nursing home abuse settlement, two nursing home employees were videotaped and caught in the act of an alleged attempted murder of a 96-year-old resident under their care.
In this case, the film showed the two nursing home employees pushing and attempting to suffocate the 96-year-old man in the long term care facility they worked at.
Unfortunately, the resident passed away prior to the case reaching a settlement; however, the victim’s family received $1.2 Million in total compensation from the lawsuit.
As explained in our post about the different types of nursing home abuse, neglect is one of the most common types of abuse within nursing homes.
In 2017, an 84-year-old nursing home resident received extreme injuries as a result of neglect by their caretakers.
In this case, the 84-year-old nursing home resident endured severe burns after being placed in a bath that was far too hot by nursing home staff members.
The victim’s attornies were able to prove that the burns and trauma that the resident received were so severe, in fact, that the victim deserved financial compensation.
The resident in this case received a nursing home neglect settlement of $1.5 Million.
Yes, you read that right – $200 Million Dollars…
The largest nursing home abuse settlement amount in the history of the state of Florida occurred back in 2004, when a 92-year-old resident died as a result of neglect by her caretakers.
In this case, the two sides could not come to an agreement in the pre-trial phase, and the case went to trial.
During the trial, it was revealed that the 92-year-old woman was found dead at the bottom of a stairwell at Pinellas Park Care and Rehabilitation Center in Pinellas County, Florida.
The company that oversaw the nursing home at the time of the incident was Trans Health Management, inc.
Trans Health Management, inc. did not present a defense in the case…
During the trial, it was revealed by former employees of Pinellas Park, that the door leading to the stairwell was supposed to be locked at all times, but the staff intentionally disabled the alarm in order to use the door to go outside for smoke breaks.
Other nursing home staff also testified that the home was often understaffed and multiple complaints over the years.
According to additional news reports, the nursing home also had a history of deficiency citations and abuse complaints.
With the mountain of overwhelming and damning evidence, it took the jury, in this case, less than an hour to deliberate.
The Jury awarded the victim’s family $60 million in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages.
With over $200 Million in total, the verdict is the largest nursing home abuse amount in Florida’s history.
If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of nursing home abuse, or suspect that abuse has occurred you may be eligible for compensation.
Our affiliated nursing home abuse attorneys are there to fight for a favorable outcome for your unique situation.
Get in touch with us today for a FREE no-obligation consultation. A lawyer will be in touch to discuss your unique situation and evaluate your potential case.
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