Assisted Living Center Gouged For $6M in Wrongful Death
The family of Kathleen Menard filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Port St. Lucie Retirement Investors that run The Harbor Place in Port St. Lucie. The jury returned with a $6M verdict to be paid out to Kathleen Menard’s surviving children.
According to the lawsuit, Kathleen Menard had a pendant which she could use in the case of an emergency with the press of a button. Since Menard had previously suffered a fall, the pendant was designed to ensure that she could call in the case of another fall. However, Menard was found outside with a temperature of 105 °F. The family believed that Menard fell and then, unable to use the pendant, was left outside for four hours. When she was found, the pendant was found gripped tightly in her hand.
Hospital Employees Waited 40 Minutes to Call 911
Eventually, Menard was taken to the hospital. But nursing staff waited 40 minutes before calling paramedics out to transport her there. By the time she was brought inside, she had suffered significant burns and appeared to be exhibiting signs of dementia. She was taken to the hospital where they were able to save her life. Doctors had to remove burned tissue from her body. The burns made it more difficult for her to walk and the medical examiner said that she never fully recovered from the heat stroke she suffered. She died two months after the incident.
After her death, her estate filed a lawsuit against the assisted living facility that failed to help her or recognize that her medical alert pendant had failed. Further complicating matters for the defendants, was why staff failed to transport her to the hospital immediately after she was found.
The Pendant Was the Key to the Lawsuit
Pendants such as the one Kathleen Menard was wearing send signals to staff that the patient is in distress. However, the staff was misled as to the utility of the pendant to work in certain areas, including outside where Kathleen Menard liked to spend time reading her Bible. The plaintiffs successfully argued that the pendants did not work outside of the building and that Menard should have been told about this prior to the accident.
Additionally, the plaintiff’s case centered around an internal memo in which the investors failed to install security cameras outside the facility for budgetary reasons. Had the security cameras been installed, Menard and all the other patients would be safer.
The plaintiffs highlighted that a $30,000 security camera system was scrapped from the budget and this contributed to Menard’s death. Now, the plaintiffs will be forced to pay $6 million for their decision.
Talk to a Jacksonville Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Today
If your loved one was abused, neglected, or treated negligently by a nursing home or assisted living center, the Jacksonville nursing home negligence attorneys at Gillette Law can help you recover damages for their abuse or death. Talk to us today for a free consultation.