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ARTICLE ID 162020

$________ - FAILURE OF NURSING HOME FACILITY TO PROPERLY MONITOR 36-YEAR-OLD WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY WHO DIES AFTER INGESTING FOREIGN OBJECTS INCLUDING CATSUP PACKETS, PAPER TOWELING, CANDY WRAPPERS AND PLASTIC BAGS - $________ IN PUNITIVE DAMAGES.

Maricopa County, Arizona

In this matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant nursing home was negligent in monitoring the decedent which resulted in his death from ingesting foreign objects. The defendant denied the allegations of negligence.

The 36-year-old male decedent sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of an automobile accident in ________. On April 7, ________, the decedent’s wife placed the decedent in the defendant nursing home facility. The wife chose the facility because it touted 24- hour supervision of its residents. The wife advised the defendant facility that three weeks prior to the admission date, the decedent had ingested five cracker packages with the wrappers. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was aware of the decedent’s propensity to ingest foreign objects and failed to take appropriate action to properly monitor the decedent to make sure that he was not ingesting any foreign objects.

Shortly after his admission, the decedent was found to have been drinking his own urine, but the defendant failed to take any action to modify the decedent’s service plan. Two days after a change of ownership at the facility, the wife received a call advising that her husband, the decedent, had been vomiting. She brought her husband home from the facility and gave him a bath at which time he began vomiting a black substance and died in her arms.

The autopsy report indicated that the decedent’s cause of death was ingestion of foreign objects within 24 hours of his death, combined with mechanical obstruction of the GI tract due to the presence of foreign objects. The plaintiff brought suit, alleging that the defendant facility was negligent in failing to properly monitor the decedent in light of his propensity to ingest foreign objects and his past history.

The defendant denied the allegations and disputed the plaintiff’s allegations of negligence. The defendant was unable, however, to present the decedent’s caregiver and his entries were missing from the decedent’s file.

The matter was tried. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant. The jury awarded the plaintiff the sum of $________, consisting of $________ for abuse and neglect under Arizona law, $________ for the plaintiff’s wife for wrongful death and $________ in punitive damages.

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