One of the Largest Verdicts against a Nursing Home in New York State
In one of the largest verdicts against a nursing home in New York State, a jury of 6 New York County residents rendered a verdict today totaling $5,032,281 consisting of $2,980,00 in compensatory damages and $2,052,000 in statutory interest against the Northern Manhattan Nursing Home, located at 116 East 125th Street in New York City.
Represented by New York personal injury law firm Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, the case was argued at trial by Partner Michael Feldman.
After hearing all of the proof and prior to jury deliberations, Supreme Court Judge Hon. Lucy Billings declared that Northern Manhattan Nursing Home was negligent for ignoring the medical needs of resident Frederick Smith. Judge Billings also issued an Order declaring that the nursing home’s neglect of Mr. Smith lead to brain damage which caused his untimely death.
“Fred was deprived of his right to adequate and appropriate medical care at Northern Manhattan Nursing Home. Fred was 75 years old and was left alone for hours in his room, lethargic due to a very low blood sugar count. Had a nurse checked on him regularly his blood sugar would have been properly monitored and treated. Instead of taking care of Fred, the nursing home totally ignored him, causing him to go into Hypoglycemic shock. The lack of care itself was negligent. What makes this case even more disturbing is that Northern Manhattan Nursing Home, despite Fred being unresponsive for hours, failed to timely call an ambulance for him. The resulting lack of oxygen to Fred’s brain caused him to suffer from permanent, but preventable brain damage. Fred lived the rest of his life in a coma, on a feeding tube, and unresponsive. Fred survived for six months in this terrible condition before he died” according to attorney Michael Feldman.
Feldman continued, “The Public Health Law was written so that our society’s most vulnerable population, those in nursing homes who can’t take care of themselves, can have laws on their side that even the playing field against large corporate-owned nursing homes. This law provides for adequate and appropriate medical care for any nursing home resident. Nursing homes are required to maintain the highest practical, physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of their residents. If they do not, then they are responsible for all of the damages that they do. The jury today sent a message to all nursing home owners that they better invest in staffing their homes so the residents get the services they have a right to receive.”
Carolyn Lundy Smith, the widow of Fred Smith, expressed satisfaction in the jury finding; “Fred would give the shirt off of his back to anyone who needed help. This tragedy could have been prevented if Northern Manhattan Nursing Home did their job. I am just so happy there is finally some justice and this jury was held accountable for neglecting my husband.”
Placing a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility can be one of the most difficult decisions for a family member to make. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is a frequent occurrence in nursing homes throughout New York and New Jersey. If a facility is understaffed, or the staff on duty is not sufficiently trained or properly screened, your loved one could become a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you suspect this is happening to someone you care about, you should seek out a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.