The family of a man who tragically died of a morphine overdose due to nursing home abuse has recently been awarded nearly $5 million, reports The Toledo Blade. Burr Needham entered the Mercy Memorial Nursing Center in late April of 2002 to receive physical therapy for a nondisplaced hip fracture. However, only a week and a half later, Mr. Needham was found dead at the nursing home from a morphine overdose.
The medical examiner concluded that the death was caused by acute morphine intoxication and ruled it a homicide. Mr. Needham’s family hired nursing home abuse lawyers who investigated further and field suit. The investigation soon made clear that the nursing home staff had failed to properly monitor the amount of morphine given to Mr. Needham in his brief stay at their facility. The nursing home records revealed that morphine was unaccounted for on his medical chart.
The nursing home abuse trial abuse resulting from the death lasted over three weeks. The jury eventually determined that Mercy Memorial Nursing Center was professionally negligent in Mr. Needham’s care and treatment. They awarded his widow nearly $3 million for loss of companionship, $1.5 million for pain and suffering, and $350,000 for damages and lost valuables.
The deadly consequences of the nursing home abuse in this case is a stark reminder of the perilous situation many vulnerable seniors face when forced to live in facilities that fail to provide the care they need. However, Mr. Needham’s family was able to receive some vindication and send a message to the abusers who took their loved one by seeking legal help and ensuring that their rights were protected. In Chicago, our nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti represent suffering families like the Needhams each day. If you are someone you know may be victims of medication error in a nursing home or another similar situation, do not wait to see if nursing home negligence has occurred, contact a lawyer today.