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California wrongful death award to be appealed

Caring for an elderly person can be a full time job. This is why some families make the decision to place their loved ones in professional care. Unfortunately, not all health care workers in California properly care for their patients.

A national assisted living company known as Emeritus plans to appeal a multi-million dollar award that was recently upheld by California judge. The ruling came down after a jury awarded $23 million to the family of a woman who died shortly after her stay at an Emeritus facility.  A spokeswoman for Emeritus said that the company is proud of the care they provide for their residents and the evidence shown at the trial is not reflective of the level of care they provided for the woman who died. Lawyers for the company claim the $23 million award is overly harsh and is unsupported by existing case law. 

The jury found that Emeritus played a role in the wrongful death of the 82-year-old woman. The woman obtained bed sores while she was at the facility and these ulcers were a substantial part of the reason she died. The judge stated that Emeritus accepted patients like this woman despite the fact that the staff was improperly trained and they did not have enough resources to care for them. In addition to upholding their monetary award, the judge ruled that Emeritus is also responsible for $4 million in legal fees and costs. 

If you lost a family member due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important that you preserve your legal rights. You may want to speak with a lawyer before the statute of limitations expires. 

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Judge upholds $23M award in Calif. bed soar death,” June 12, 2013

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