The Buffalo News reported the jury verdict in a nursing home neglect case. Shirley Burrows needed follow-up treatment for three “superficial” bedsores when she was discharged from the hospital to Newfane Rehab & Health Care Center nursing home. Her wounds were on her sacrum and backside. Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, are mostly preventable but occur when a section of the body is pressing against a surface for too long and not repositioned to alleviate the pressure. Medical protocol to prevent sores calls for repositioning at least every two hours. Instead of getting better, Burrows’ sores worsened, became infected, and a bone in Burrows’ lower back was exposed.
A jury compensated her with $1.25 million to the 72-year-old woman, after determining Newfane Rehab & Health Care Center was negligent in its care of her.
“She had gone to the nursing home for wound care treatment and they horribly neglected her,” said Brian R. Hogan, one Burrows’ attorneys at Brown Chiari law firm. “What makes this egregious is they knew she had sores and she was not seen by a doctor at the nursing home. It took two years of treatment at the wound clinic and she still has an open wound, but it is a lot smaller and her daughter is caring for her,” Hogan said.
The federal government rates Newfane Rehab as a two star, or “below average,” facility in its five-star rating system.
Of the verdict amount, the jury awarded $475,000 for past pain and suffering, $300,000 for future pain and suffering, and an additional $475,000 for violating a state public health law that requires special protections to nursing home residents, for the total of $1.25 million.