California Bed Sore Death Results in $23M Award

Last Updated on: 18th September 2018, 08:27 am

Example of a Pressure Ulcer
Example of a Pressure Ulcer

A $23 million dollar judgment was handed down following the death of an elderly woman who suffered from horrendous bed sores at a senior assisted living facility.  An additional $4 million was added to cover legal costs and fees.

Presiding Judge Hersher stated that Emeritus Senior Living Corporation was guilty of “a high degree of reprehensibility” in the care, or lack thereof, provided to Joan Boice.  Judge Hersher also stated that Emeritus was informed of a lack of training and of the low staffing levels in the memory care unit, yet accepted residents like Boice contrary to having the means to properly care for them.  Boice’s family brought the lawsuit against Emeritus, claiming wrongful death and elder abuse.

Boice died at the age of 82, just a few months after she moved out of the assisted living facility.  She was an Alzheimer’s patient and suffered from bed sores while a resident at the Emeritus facility five years ago.  It is reported that her death certificate states that pressure ulcers were a substantial factor in her death.

Despite the jury’s findings following two months of testimony, Karen Lucas, a spokeswoman for Emeritus, says the company will appeal the decision.  She stated the company believes the verdict was tainted by the lack of proper testimony and evidence, and did not accurately portray the quality of care that Emeritus provides its residents.  Speaking on behalf of Emeritus, attorney Bryan Reid of the San Bernardino, California offices of Lewis, Brisbois said that the $23 million judgment went further than calculations in established case law and is calling for a reduction or a new trial.  While an appeal may be taken, we believe that it is unlikely that an Appellate Court will set aside the verdict.

Berman & Riedel, LLP, is a civil litigation firm that is renowned for handling serious personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse matters throughout the entire State of California. We are strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated personal injury firm, and do not represent any business, industry or insurance companies in the defense of personal injury or wrongful death claims. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

About Berman & Riedel, LLP firm managing partner attorney William M. Berman:

Attorney William M. Berman focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect. Strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated firm, he never represents insurance companies in the defense of claims. Mr. Berman’s firm remains staunchly committed to helping those who have suffered serious injury or loss due the negligence, intentional misconduct or wrongful acts of others.

Mr. Berman has grown his firm to what is considered one of the largest and most successful elder abuse/neglect practices within California. Through his continued successes in handling claims involving nursing home and elder abuse and neglect, Mr. Berman remains a prominent figure in advocating on behalf of this vulnerable class of citizens.

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Attorney Bill Berman

William M. Berman, Esquire
Berman & Riedel, LLP
12264 El Camino Real, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92130
ph: (858) 350-8855
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