Nursing Home-HallwayDenver, CO- A Colorado jury awarded an 82 year-old man and his family $3.3 million dollars after they found a Pueblo-based guilty of nursing home negligence.
The lawsuit which was filed in 2013 alleged that due to regular neglect, James Sharon suffered and number or adverse effects to his health. His sister, Alice Franz, told KKTV, “He wasn’t treated with dignity and respect.”
While at the Belmont Lodge Health Care Center, Sharon developed multiple bedsores, suffered frequent urinary tract infections along with other skin abrasions and injuries. Because of neglect at the facility, Sharon, who has mild mental retardation and dementia, was dehydrated, malnourished, lost weight, and contracted several infections including E coli.
Sharon’s injuries were completely preventable had the nursing home provided him with the care he needed. His bedsores were caused by poor nutrition and the home’s failure to move him regularly. Urinary tract infections are common when a residents toilet and incontinence needs are ignored.
Despite repeated complaints from Franz and staff members about the conditions at the facility, the administrators did nothing to the protect their residents. Franz’s attorney is Brent Moss said Belmont lodge was short staffed and had high turnovers. Sharon’s lawsuit alleged he suffered emotional distress as a result of the facility’s understaffing.
According to the allegations, Belmont Lodge violated Colorado’s Consumer Protection Act by attempting to “lure” prospective patients to the facility through a “massive marketing” campaign in spite of being incapable of providing their residents with the care and attention necessary to ensure their health and safety.
All of Sharon’s health problems were preventable, and the jury agreed by awarding him $300,000 for negligence and $3 million in punitive damages.
Franz said her brother is happy to be leaving the Belmont Lodge.
Understaffing is common characteristic bad nursing homes share. When a family is looking for a suitable nursing home for their elderly or disabled loved one, they should look closely at how well that home is staffed. A family can do this by visiting a prospective nursing home when they will be the busiest, typically on the weekends and during lunchtime. If a home is understaffed during these times, it will be understaffed other times, as well. A family should avoid putting their loved one in a facility that has a serous staffing problem.
Nursing home residents have the right to be treated with dignity and have their needs met. Ignoring rudimentary care is negligent and can be deadly. What is a simple infection for most can be a death sentence for a weak and vulnerable elderly person.
If a resident of a nursing home is abused or neglected they have a legal recourse available to them so they can seek justice. When abuse or neglect is suspected, the victim and their family are advised to call a nursing home abuse attorney immediately. With a good head start, a personal injury attorney can build a strong injury or wrongful death claim and assure their client receives a just settlement.