A Davidson County Jury awarded one of the largest civil jury verdicts in the past 20 years when it found a Lexington, North Carolina nursing home responsible for the mistreatment of an Alzheimer’s disease patient. The 83 year old patient went into the Brian Center Nursing Care of Lexington for rehabilitation following knee replacement surgery. Within two months, the resident lost nearly 20 pounds, became dehydrated, and developed pressure sores (or decubitus ulcers) on her knees. As normally occurs with inappropriately treated pressure sores, the resident developed a fever after the sores became infected which required her hospitalization.
The family alleged the injuries resulted from an inadequate and poorly trained nursing staff. The nursing home initially offered $38,000 to settle the claim – not even enough to pay for the medical treatment necessitated by the nursing home’s negligence. After 3 days of testimony and 3 hours of deliberations, the jury awarded damages against the nursing home in the amount of $480,000. Read the newspaper report here.
Nursing homes accept our frail and elderly and promise to provide good care. They must be held accountable when they fail to meet this important responsibility.