Patient’s Damages Valued at More Than $1.4 Million
ROCHESTER, NY, June 28, 2023 – An arbitrator has valued damages incurred by a patient while in the care of an Upstate New York nursing home at more than $1.4 million. The patient, a 64-year-old man, was admitted for short-term rehabilitation to St. Luke Health Services, a nursing home located at 299 East River Road in Oswego, New York. St. Luke Residential Health Care Facility, Inc. owns and operates this nursing home. One week after his admission on November 1, 2019, St. Luke documented that the patient developed a pressure sore on his left heel. The pressure sore became infected, resulting in a below-the-knee amputation of the patient’s left leg.
John M. Wells, Esq., a partner at Lacy Katzen LLP, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the patient in August 2020. After over two and a half years of litigation, the case was scheduled to be resolved by binding arbitration. At the arbitration, Mr. Wells submitted evidence, including St. Luke’s medical record, that St. Luke failed to take basic measures to prevent the pressure sore from developing. Mr. Wells offered additional evidence that after the sore developed, St. Luke failed to provide basic treatments, failed to schedule a consultation with a vascular specialist, and failed to notify the attending physician that the patient had a pressure sore on his left heel. Despite no improvement to the wound after approximately five weeks at St. Luke, the patient was discharged home without a vascular consult, without the attending physician being informed of the pressure sore, and without being told that he was at risk for infection and amputation of the limb.
The arbitrator found that St. Luke violated certain regulations establishing minimum standards for nursing home care pursuant to New York’s Public Health Law. The arbitrator further found that the nursing home was negligent in its care and treatment of the patient. After hearing testimony from the patient and receiving expert witness evidence establishing St. Luke violated nursing home care standards and linking the infection and amputation to St. Luke’s violations, the arbitrator determined the patient sustained damages, including damages for pain, suffering, losses of enjoyment of life’s pleasures, and past and future medical expenses totaling more than $1.9 million. The arbitrator further determined that St. Luke was 75% at fault for the patient’s damages, amounting to more than $1.4 million.
After receiving the determination from the arbitrator, Mr. Wells explained why he took the case, “Those inside New York’s nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Many suffer from cognitive impairments or are otherwise unable to recognize when they are the victim of poor care. Others are not capable of complaining about substandard care or advocating for themselves. Many lack family and friends who live close enough to visit regularly. I am proud to be an advocate for this vulnerable population. The nursing home industry must learn that neglect, abuse, negligence, and violations of care standards will not be tolerated.”
If you or a loved one has experienced inadequate care in a nursing home an attorney may be able to help. The attorneys at Lacy Katzen LLP have advocated for people who have received substandard care by nursing homes. Please contact John M. Wells for a free consultation.