NY Nursing Home Abuse - Nursing Home To Pay $18.75M for Abuse

A Brooklyn, New York jury has awarded a 76 year old man $18.75 million after he suffered over 20 bedsores while receiving care at the Brooklyn Queens Nursing Home. Not only did employees neglect the man, they later falsified medical records to cover up their pattern of nursing home abuse.

New York nursing home abuse

John Danzy, a 76 year old retired truck driver and butcher who needed assistance with many aspects of everyday living due to Alzheimer's Disease spent nine months at the Brooklyn Queens Nursing Home in Brooklyn New York to receive care. However, his ordeal during those months was nothing short of a nightmare. According to news reports, Danzy's family could no longer care for him and, like millions of Americans, made the tough decision to place him in a nursing home in 2002.

Although Danzy was supposed to be turned every four hours, nursing home staff continually neglected him and kept him physically restrained for long periods of time. As a result, he developed over 20 serious and life-threatening bedsores and lost nearly 100 pounds. When his family discovered what was happening, they pulled their dad out of the home, hired a New York nursing home abuse attorney and filed a lawsuit against the home. What they're lawyer found during discovery led to the first punitive damages award against a nursing home in New York's history.

Falsifying medical records

The family's nursing home abuse attorney found that the facility's management falsified Danzy's medical records when it received notice of the lawsuit. He hired an FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) expert to testify that notes in over 100 records had been changed from a “B” (meaning that the patient had broken skin from a bedsore) to a “G” (meaning that the patient was good and without bedsores) – all in order to avoid liability.

The jury returned a $18.75 million verdict for Danzy – which consisted of $3.75 million for his pain and suffering and an additional $15 million in punitive damages (those meant to punish a defendant for egregious behavior) for falsifying medical records in order to cover up its negligence. It is the first time in New York's history that punitive damages have been awarded in a nursing home abuse lawsuit – which may open the door for others who have suffered severe injuries, or even died, as the result of nursing home abuse or neglect.

Abuse & neglect not limited to nursing homes

Nursing homes aren't the only places in which abuse and neglect against the elderly or disabled occur; they can also occur in assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, hospitals, medical centers and by in-home health care providers. In fact, anyone who has a duty to provide care and then breaches that duty may be liable for the injuries sustained by a patient. An experienced elder law lawyer in your state can explain what laws and statutes of limitations apply in your situation.

The foregoing article has been prepared by an attorney who is a regular contributor to FreeAdvice, and is now undergoing review by the site's editorial staff.