PHOENIX, ARIZONA – An jury awarded a verdict of $11 million today to the widow of a man with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who died after ingesting foreign objects while being cared for by Liberty Manor Residency, an assisted living facility. The verdict included $4 million in punitive damages and is believed to be the largest verdicts ever rendered in Arizona against an assisted living facility.
The plaintiff saw it as a victory for all individuals suffering from TBI and living in assisted living facilities. The decedent in this case, Earl Scherrer, suffered TBI in a car accident in 1996. After being in a coma for many months, he was starting to come out of it with the help of his loving wife. On April 7, 2006, his wife put Mr. Scherrer in the assisted living facility to help with his care, and exactly one month after that when she brought her husband home with her Mr. Scherrer began vomiting a mysterious black substance, and then died in her arms.
The autopsy revealed that Mr. Scherrer had apparently injested numerous non-food items while under the care of the assisted living facility, including plastic bags, unopened ketchup packets, candy wrappers, and paper towels. The obstruction that these caused in Mr. Scherrer’s gastrointestinal tract resulted in his death. The investigation also revealed numerous cases of false documentation of Mr. Scherrer’s care.
It is through verdicts like these that assisted living facilities for the elderly and dependent adults will be forced to treat their residents with higher standards of care. Particularly because these individuals are often defenseless, it is sometimes necessary for the family members and attorneys to ensure justice is done. Berman & Riedel, LLP has successfully brought numerous lawsuits against assisted living facilities under similar circumstances, and recovered substantial amounts in settlements. If you or a loved one has been neglected or abused at an assisted living facility an attorney at Berman & Riedel, LLP can analyze the situation and pursue all legal remedies. Our attorneys are available for a free consultation.