In the context of nursing homes, elopement occurs when residents are allowed to wonder without supervision. Obviously, many nursing home patients suffer from various physical and mental conditions that put them at risk if they are allowed to roam the premises without assistance. This is normally the reason why many of them enter a nursing facility in the first place. Here are some wandering / elopement case settlements and jury verdicts to help provide some context in terms of how these cases are evaluated from a case valuation perspective.
Valuing Nursing Home Elopement Cases from a Settlement and Jury Verdict Perspective
If your loved one wandered or eloped and has suffered an injury or died, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights with experienced nursing home neglect attorneys. We handle nursing home elopement cases on a contingency fee basis where there is never any out-of-pocket cost to begin your case. Allow our office to get you the maximum value for your nursing home elopement case today.
CASE NAME: NUNZIATA VS. PINELLAS
AMOUNT: $200,000,000 JURY AWARD
The victim in this case was a nursing home resident with a history of dementia and also of wandering around the facility by herself. One day, while tied to a wheelchair, she went into an emergency exit stairwell and fell down. She laid there for hours, covered in her own blood, until someone finally found her. She died in the ambulance on the way to the emergency room. The decedent’s representatives sued the nursing home. In their wrongful death suit, they claimed that not only was the defendant company responsible for the fall but also for the malnutrition, sexual assaults, and other injuries that she suffered while in its care. A jury awarded her $200,000,000: $140,000,000 for punitive damages and $60,000,000 for compensatory damages.
CASE NAME: TANNER VS. HORIZON
The nursing home patient in this controversy suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. This had the effect of causing her to suffer from incontinence as well as go on many wandering trips. Subsequently, her family decided to move her to a nursing home to assist and supervise her. They did no such thing. They failed to create or enforce a plan of care for her or properly monitor her. Consequently, she was allowed to wander to a great extent and fell nearly half of a dozen times. She broke several bones in her body including her hip. She sued the nursing home for negligence but it insisted that it treated her reasonably and could not be responsible for all of the things that its residents did. The jury disagreed. It awarded her $29,100,000 in damages.
CASE NAME: WILSON VS. SON
AMOUNT: $1,480,000 JURY AWARD
The victim in this case was an elderly man in his late eighties. Shortly after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he and his family decided that he should enter a nursing home for more care and attention. Unfortunately, this was not what he received. Nursing home staff repeatedly let him wander around the facility and beyond the facility unattended and unsupervised. On one particular occasion, he was walking near a street and was hit by a truck. The impact killed him. His family sued the nursing home for damages. They received $1,480,000 from the jury.
CASE NAME: GLADYS VS. UNNAMED NURSING HOME
AMOUNT: $988,850 SETTLEMENT
The plaintiff in this case was an elderly woman who suffered from various mental and physical ailments. One day she left her nursing home room and wandered outside. The attendant who was supposed to be supervising the halls was absent as was the attendant who was supposed to be watching the doors, neither of them heard the alarm go off when she opened the door. She only got a few blocks before she fell and broke her hip and sustained a subdural hematoma. As a result, the woman needed to undergo surgery, suffers significant pain and suffering, and received sizeable mental impairment. She sued the nursing home for negligent supervision and sought damages for her injuries. The defendant nursing home quickly sought to settle and after initially offering $300,000, it raised the settlement amount to $988,850 and the plaintiff accepted.
CASE NAME: BEALE VS. BRISTON
This was a wrongful death lawsuit. It was prompted by the death of an 80-year-old man. While in the care of a nursing home, he was allowed to wander off the premises and was hit by a car and killed. The decedent’s estate sued the facility and argued that, among other things, its own alarm going off when he exited the building was a sign that they were not paying attention. The defendant refused to accept any blame and contended that the plaintiff should have realized the limits of the nursing home’s care. The jury decided that the defendant home was responsible and awarded the plaintiffs $1,000,000.
CASE NAME: CONFIDENTIAL
AMOUNT: $130,000 SETTLEMENT
An elderly woman sued her nursing home when she fell down after she wandered off the premises. Prior to the incident, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had been declared a flight risk by her doctors. Due to the fall, she sustained forehead abrasion and broken clavicle. She sued the nursing home for these injuries because, in her opinion, she claimed that it should have done a better job of monitoring her to prevent this accident. The defendant facility denied all responsibility but did not want the matter to drag on any longer than it had to so they offered a settlement. The woman received a confidential settlement of $130,000.
Lawyers Committed to Getting You Full Value For Your Nursing Home Elopement Case
Thankfully, most of the time when a cognitively impaired patient wanders from a nursing home they are located quickly and safely returned to the facility. Unfortunately, despite the known risk to patients when they leave the safety of a facility, elopement accidents involving serious injury or death do occur. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has nursing home negligence attorneys who are committed to holding these facilities fully accountable for these incidents. We invite you to learn about our practice here or contact the office for a free consultation.