Jury Awards Record $43M in GA Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
UPDATED: August 5, 2019
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A Georgia jury awarded the family of an 80 year old man who died in a nursing home in which the multi-millionaire owners bilked the Medicare and Medicaid systems to purchase luxury homes and cars – letting nursing home patients go hungry, thirsty and without proper care. It's a horrific story, but an issue that is reported more and more frequently.
Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Ends In Record Verdict & Jail Time For Facility's Owner
Stories of nursing home abuse or elder care abuse are difficult to hear about, but are becoming increasingly frequent. This nursing home lawsuit was particularly horrific and ended up with the owner paying a record $43.5 million verdict – and going to jail.
According to news reports, George Houser and his wife owned three nursing homes in the state of Georgia. The couple, whose net worth was near $100,000 million, relied heavily on Medicaid and Medicare for payment. Although the government fund monies were supposed to be used to care for patients, that never happened. Instead, the Housers purchased several luxury homes, expensive automobiles and lived the high life. And what happened to the patients who were residents at their nursing homes?
According to the testimony of one of the Houser's nursing home directors, the facilities lacked the funds to pay its staff, do laundry or pay bills. In fact, an attorney in this record case said that the Houser's “systematically drained the money and resources from his nursing homes [and] caused all sorts of shortages of food, water and medicine and basic supplies.” That lack of care led to the wrongful death lawsuit death of an 80 year old Georgia man.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit: 80 Year Old GA Man Neglected
The family of 80 year old Morris Ellison hired a nursing home abuse lawyer and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Housers. Ellison died in one of their nursing homes after staff failed to provide adequate care. Although he had only been a resident at the nursing home facility for a year, he had fallen several times, was neglected, malnourished, severely dehydrated and broke his hip. Nursing home staff never contacted his family or primary care doctor after the latter occurred and he died from the injury.
Eldercare Abuse Lawsuit: Jury Awards Record $43.5M
As a result of the Houser's outrageous behavior, the Georgia jury awarded Ellison's family a record $43.5 million in damages – and sent Houser to jail while he awaits a second trial in federal court. Eldercare abuse lawsuits such as this one are on the rise as American baby boomers age and move into nursing homes, assisted living facilities and need in-home health care or adult day care. Unfortunately, many nursing home owners, like Houser, have found ways to use Medicare and Medicaid to their advantage – leaving nursing home patients severely disadvantaged.
If your loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a nursing home, assisted living facility or any other facility which provides eldercare or you suspect nursing home neglect, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss whether you or your family member may be entitled to compensation. Keep in mind that every state has a different statute of limitations (the time in which a lawsuit must be filed), so contacting an attorney sooner than later – even if it's just to analyze your options – is always recommended to preserve your rights.