Great news for patient advocates and families everywhere.

A South Florida jury last week awarded $7.75 million to the family of a 71-year-old stroke victim who filed an elder abuse lawsuit against the Fillmore Convalescent Center.

How did the plaintiffs prove that their loved one had been abused?

A hidden video camera in her room reflected nursing home employee Monica Garcia slapping Arellano, “pulling her around by the hair, bending her neck, fingers and wrists, and treating her violently in a shower chair” according to the Ventura County Star. Garcia was criminally charged and pleaded no contest to simple battery in February, according to her attorney, David Lehr.

“She did 10 days’ work release and is halfway through,” he said. “My client was very sorry for her actions. She told the jury that. She’s no longer going to work in the nursing home environment, and this case has deeply affected her life. She wishes the family well.”

Wow. That’s nice. I abused your loved one, but “best of luck!”

And what did the facility offer as compensation for the family of the abused?

GUESS. Just guess.


Plaintiff’s attorney recalls “They never offered me one dime,” he said. “They never offered to go to mediation, nothing. There was a lot of arrogance.”

Sylvia Taylor Stein, executive director of the Long Term Care Services of Ventura County Inc., Ombudsman Program, said the judgment is sad but not necessarily reflective of the entire facility.”

Sylvia, the judgment is sad? Employees beating up helpless elderly residents and you not taking responsibility is sad.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at