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Family wins multi-million dollar nursing negligence suit

When patients have limited mobility, the need for quality care increases because their risk for bedsores increases. Bedsores, which are often the result of nursing negligence, can lead to more dangerous health conditions, including gangrene and infections. Recently, the family of a deceased patient whose bedsore was allowed to worsen won a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed against a hospital located outside of Illinois.

Back in 2007, a patient was being treated at a hospital, and, while he was there, he apparently developed a stage-three pressure ulcer. In addition, he suffered from malnutrition and lost a significant amount of weight. In 2009, a medical negligence claim was filed, and it was upgraded to a wrongful death claim after the patient died. An autopsy was conducted, and it was revealed that the man died due to complications of paraplegia. The family said that the pressure ulcer from which he suffered caused a deterioration in his condition that was irreversible.

The jury came to a verdict and awarded the family $6.5 million, which was divided among his immediate family members. Part of the award was for $3 million, which was the award for the claim of wrongful death. There was also an additional $3.5 million awarded based on the state's law that is dedicated to protecting vulnerable adults from neglect. The hospital was recently penalized for the number of patients who were injured or infected while under its care.

A number of patient injuries and deaths are preventable with the proper standard of care. Regrettably, nursing negligence is the cause of a large number of untimely deaths. Fortunately, there is legal recourse for families who lose their loved ones due to negligence. If claims are filed, the civil court system in Illinois typically adjudicates these types of cases based upon evidence that the medical professional or facility acted in a negligent manner that caused or contributed to a patient's death.

Source: tucson.com, "Jury awards $6.5M in bedsore case vs. Banner-UMC", Stephanie Innes, March. 24, 2015

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