Three weeks ago we posted a story on the closing statements of a high profile trial involving nursing home negligence at several of the homes owned by Skilled HealthCare based out of California. The Contra Costa Times reports that yesterday the jury in the case finally returned a verdict, finding against the nursing home and awarding a staggering $677 million dollars in damages.
The case was a class-action, with the plaintiffs representing an estimated 32,000 residents who were given inadequate nursing treatment by the negligent nursing homes owned by Skilled HealthCare. The case revolved around the number of hours per day of qualified nursing care each resident received. State law requires that 3.2 hours of care be given each day, but records indicate that the nursing homes were falling far below that number for at least six years from 2003 to 2009.
Overall, the jury awarded the maximum amount possible to the aggrieved class of victims, ultimately totaling over $670 million dollars. That figure includes $58 million in damages for violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act. It is clear from the jury’s verdict that they were appalled by the blatant disregard for the law exhibited by administrators at these facilities. As the nursing home abuse attorney commented after the verdict, “This is a really strong statement to Skilled HealthCare that they have to follow the law. They need to know that they are going to be held responsible.”
It may seem shocking that one of the largest nursing home chains in the country like Skilled Healthcare, which operates homes in seven states, would repeatedly violate nursing home laws. However, systematic negligent and law-breaking are all too common occurrences at nursing home facilities. The abuse continues at these homes until victims finally stand up for their rights and seek representation to hold the abusers responsible. Large money-making institutions like nursing home chains will often never make big changes to improve resident care unless they are forced to do so by fierce nursing home care advocates.
That is why our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti encourage you to seek out qualified legal representation if you suspect any mistreatment at a local nursing home. Every day that you delay may mean one more senior suffers abuse at the hands of negligent and inadequate caregivers.