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FL Nursing Home Hit with $200M Neglect Verdict

According to an article in the Tampa Bay Pines, Trans Health Management has been ordered to pay the largest nursing home neglect verdict in Florida history.  The $200 million verdict was awarded to the family of a 92-year-old woman who was found dead at the bottom of a stairwell at Pinellas Park Care and Rehabilitation Center in Pinellas County, Florida in 2004.

The staff at the Center did not notice the woman was missing for over an hour.  They then found her still strapped in her wheelchair at the bottom of 10 steps at the open emergency exit stairwell. She died shortly before the paramedics arrived.

Trans Health Management Inc., which oversaw the nursing home at the time of the accident, did not present a defense in the case.  During the trial, former employees at the home testified that the door to the stairwell was supposed to be locked, but the staff disabled the alarm so they could go outside for a smoke break.  Former aides also testified the nursing home was often understaffed.  The facility also had a history of deficiency citations and abuse complaints, according to news reports.

The jury deliberated less than an hour before coming to the verdict.  They awarded $60 million in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact our experienced attorneys at Munley, Munley & Cartwright today.  For a free consultation call us toll free at 1-800-318-LAW1 or contact us online.

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