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Man Wins $1.2 Billion in Nursing Home Lawsuit

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Lincoln, NEA man has been awarded $1.2 billion after alleging care home negligence caused his mom’s death. The man filed the nursing home lawsuit in 2009, alleging his mom fell repeatedly at the nursing home, and ultimately died from her injuries. His mother was 69 when she died.

According to the Christian Post (7/24/13), Gary Townsend’s mom, Arlene, fell 17 times during her time at Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center between 2004 and 2007. Those falls were allegedly the result of improper supervision at the home, and it was injuries caused by those falls that ultimately led to her death.

A jury awarded Townsend $100 million in damages and $1 billion in punitive damages. Named defendants in the lawsuit were Trans Healthcare Inc and Trans Healthcare Management.

Meanwhile, a woman has been awarded $150,000 in her lawsuit against a care home, after alleging negligence at the home nearly killed her son. World-Herald Bureau (7/25/13) reports that the plaintiff, Sandra Ham, was awarded $150,000 plus legal fees, after a judge found that in 2008 staff at Beatrice State Developmental Center not only failed to prevent Ham’s son from pulling out his feeding tube, which was later reinserted improperly, but also failed to ensure the tube had been correctly inserted. Because the tube was not inserted properly, food wound up in the patient’s abdominal cavity, causing pain and an infection.

The care center involved in the dispute has reportedly faced sanctions for the care it provides, including losing Medicaid funding, which it has since regained. In 2009, Ham’s son was transferred out of the care center along with other patients. According to the Daily Sun (3/28/10), a unit at the care home was closed down after it was discovered that employees abused and neglected residents of the unit. Five employees were reportedly fired and convicted of abuse or attempted abuse, while 16 other employees were suspended for their actions.

For both plaintiffs in their respective lawsuits, a lack of proper care severely affected their loved ones. In the case of Townsend, his mother died after falling 17 times, the last fall reportedly causing a hip fracture. In the case of Ham, her son survived, but suffered serious injuries. In both cases, lawsuits suggest that the incidents that caused harm to the patients were preventable, had the nursing homes lived up to a reasonable standard of care.


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