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DALLI & MARINO, LLP OBTAINS $305,000 JUDGMENT AGAINST NURSING HOME IN BEDSORE CASE

11-23-2010 02:19 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Dalli & Marino, LLP

/ PR Agency: PRMG
MINEOLA, NY — Attorney John Dalli of Dalli & Marino, LLP recently obtained a $305,000 judgment against a nursing home facility in a case which involved bedsores. Following a jury trial, a verdict of $300,000 in punitive damages was assessed against a nursing home as a result of it falsifying medical records. The jury also awarded $5,000 for conscious pain and suffering.

On April 19, 2005, Sarah Lester, a 60-year-old woman, was admitted to Highland Care Nursing Home in Jamaica, Queens from Franklin Hospital. Ms. Lester was suffering from pulmonary edema, diabetes and a host of other serious medical issues which increased her risk of developing bedsores. Bedsores are wounds that are caused by unrelieved pressure, mostly in the sacrum, hips, elbow and heels.

Due to her limited mobility, Ms. Lester was supposed to be turned and repositioned in bed every two hours by Highland Care staff to relieve the pressure on her body. Turning and repositioning is an essential element of care for nursing home residents who are at risk for bedsores. In addition, New York State regulations require that all services and treatment for nursing home residents be documented in the residents’ charts.

When Ms. Lester’s daughter came to visit one day, she noticed a bedsore on her mother’s backside and alerted the nursing staff. The staff told Ms. Lester’s daughter that the bedsore came from her stay at the hospital prior to coming to Highland Care, but was assured that the staff would take care of it. However, the bedsore worsened and became painful. Ms. Lester was then transferred to another nursing home where the bedsore healed. She passed away one year later from causes unrelated to the bedsore. Ms. Lester's family brought a lawsuit against the nursing home for failing to properly care for her.

Before the trial, Mr. Dalli obtained an original copy of Ms. Lester’s records and compared them to a set of her records obtained during discovery in the lawsuit. Mr. Dalli's analysis revealed that parts of Ms. Lester’s chart were altered to show that staff members turned and repositioned her as scheduled, while the original chart showed that she was not turned and repositioned every shift. Altering a patient's medical records is a violation of the laws regulating nursing homes in New York State.

At trial, Mr. Dalli sought punitive damages against Highland Care under the New York State Public Health Law. On August 26, a Queens County jury, with Judge Alan Weiss presiding, awarded a verdict against the nursing home for $305,000. The jury awarded $300,000 in punitive damages and $5,000 for pain and suffering.

“We were pleased that the jury found in our favor and understood the critical importance of maintaining the sanctity of medical records by awarding such a significant sum for punitive damages,” Mr. Dalli said.

For more information, call (516) 292-4700 or visit www.dallimarino.com.

About Dalli & Marino, LLP
Dalli & Marino, LLP is a full-service trial law firm concentrating in personal injury law including construction accidents, medical malpractice, automobile accidents and wrongful death claims. The firm has a concentration in nursing home litigation in which their clients have been victims of abuse at a nursing home, which may include failing to properly administer medication; physical, sexual and mental abuse; bedsores; falls; and malnutrition. The firm has offices in Mineola, New York and in Manhattan. For more information, call (516) 292-4700 or visit www.dallimarino.com.

Hank Russell, Public Relations Director
PRMG
156 North Ocean Avenue
Patchogue, NY 11772
631-207-1057
hrussell@theprmg.com

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