The family of a 71-year-old Ohio woman who died after suffering numerous severe pressure sore wounds has been awarded $1 million in damages against the nursing home in charge of her care.
In Lang v. Beachwoode Point Care Center, before the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, plaintiff, as representative of decedent’s estate, alleged that not only did the nursing home neglect to provide her with proper care resulting in the wounds, they failed to appropriately respond in treating those wounds, didn’t notify her family of her deteriorating condition and didn’t alert her physician to a problem. By failing to provide her with adequate supervision, adequate nutrition or appropriate care levels, plaintiffs caused her severe injury, pain and suffering and ultimately, death. Her family also asserted damages in the form of mental anguish and loss of consortium.
Jurors ultimately agreed with those assertions, awarding $440,000 in compensatory damages, which will help to cover medical bills and funeral expenses. In addition, $560,000 in punitive damages was awarded. Such an award is intended to punish defendant for especially egregious or grossly negligent conduct.
In North Carolina, NCGS 1D-15 only allows punitive damages in cases where claimant proves defendant is liable for compensatory damages AND at least one of the following aggravating factors are present:
- Willful or wanton conduct