Nursing Home Chain Pays Big for Understaffing their Facilities
What would motivate a jury to award $640 million in damages against one nursing home chain? If the violation of law is so egregious, then the verdict serves as a reminder to all other nursing homes to abide by the law or suffer severe financial consequences.
This was the case in Humboldt County. An Orange County-based nursing home firm was ordered to pay $640 million in a class action lawsuit for understaffing their 22 California nursing homes. California requires nursing homes administer a minimum of 3 hours and 12 minutes of direct care for each patient, something that the nursing home chain simply could not achieve with the amount of employees then employed.
This jury award signifies one of the most substantial (if not the most substantial) jury awards in a nursing home case. The amount was calculated to reimburse each patient on each day that the chain of nursing homes did not provide the minimum staffing requirements.
Patient care suffered as a direct result of the nursing home chain’s decision to understaff their facilities. They were forced to wait longer for care, such as changing of soiled linens and clothes or being repositioned. If older people cannot change themselves, then they are forced to sit or lay in their own urine until a caregiver arrives. While the elderly wait in the urine, their skin is being weakened by the moisture, making them more susceptible to bed sores. Unfortunately, bed sores are the underlying cause of death for several thousands Americans each year.
York Law Firm takes their role seriously as an officer of the court. We feel it is our duty to help enforce nursing home standards and regulations. The only way to prevent nursing homes from continuing to abuse and neglect its patients is to make examples of the ones that do commit violations. We are proud to have achieved the first nursing home neglect case that went to trial in Sacramento County for a $3 million jury verdict.
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