Nursing homes in the Jackson Mississippi area, just like every other city around the country, are an imperfect solution for senior citizens who require significant attention throughout the course of a day. These homes often experience high turnover, shortages of staff, improper or incomplete training, along with employees that either make mistakes or intentionally hurt those under their care while on the job.
Sometimes when a nursing home engages in conduct that violates any sense of decency, a court may give a jury the opportunity to award large amounts of money to a victim in order to demonstrate that such conduct is not tolerated. A nursing home in Jackson Mississippi was punished in this exact manner for the severe mistreatment that one person under their care endured for several months.
Lawsuit against a nursing home for improperly medicating a woman who eventually died
A lawsuit against Beverly Healthcare Enterprises that originated with the death of a patient result in an award of over a million dollars to the victim’s sister. Evidence from this case showed that the home in Jackson where the victim stayed was chronically understaffed and she was involuntarily sedated by various narcotics to make her care more manageable given the labor shortages. She also apparently suffered strange burns and lost the ability to walk after a stay of less than a year at this home. The home had also ignored some of the orders given by her doctor to help improve her condition. She eventually died not too long after these events, and her sister brought a lawsuit on her behalf.
After the trial related to these incidents ended, the jury returned a verdict in excess of one million dollars during the punitive damages phase alone.
What are punitive damages?
In any lawsuit, damages are the monetary amounts paid out to cover things like medical expenses or lost wages, and they usually increase based on the level of deviation from a normal duty of care by the defendant. Punitive damages are the civil law’s way of punishing someone for reckless, outrageous, or intentional actions that cause severe harm to others. These are essentially large monetary amounts that are meant to deter certain forms of inappropriate behavior by businesses or individuals.
In this case, employees at the nursing home essentially drugged the victim so that they would not have to deal with her, then engaged in various other forms of neglect. This is extremely inappropriate conduct for a nursing home. These actions go way beyond gaps in care or oversights that lead to other health problems, as a number of intentional acts caused the woman’s condition to quickly worsen. In some situations there may also be related criminal charges regarding the same actions, but whether these charges are filed by a local prosecutor or not, a civil lawsuit that asks for punitive damages can still arise from the same series of events. To obtain more specific information about damages and how they are related to cases of elderly abuse, you can contact an attorney who specializes in this area.
Speak to an expert nursing home abuse lawyer now
Ballard Law, PLLC is available to help victims and their families with all kinds of lawsuits against nursing homes. William E. Ballard has experience helping people get the compensation they deserve after a number of different types of accidents.