In the Courts: $4.25M in Punitive Damages Upheld in Understaffing Case

October 12, 2012 | Aging Services Risk Management


In a case alleging understaffing, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee has upheld $4.25 million in punitive damages and $225,000 in compensatory damages against the owners and operators of a nursing home, including its parent nursing home chain, which had more than 200 nursing homes serving 30,000 residents.

On admission, the resident was very—probably terminally—ill and was totally dependent on others for his care. During his 13-day stay at the nursing home, he developed infections and his pressure ulcer progressed from stage III to stage IV. He was malnourished and dehydrated on discharge. The resident...

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