Successes:Woman Becomes Quadriplegic Due to Elder Abuse and Negligent Hospital StaffSettlement/Verdict: $750,000 Settlement
A 64-year-old woman suffering from self-injurious behavior related to mental illness was admitted to a hospital where she sustained a broken neck that resulted in permanent paralysis to her body. Despite the fact that her status as a dependent adult required special supervision, which the hospital assured her family would be provided, she was attacked and assaulted by another patient, resulting in a broken neck and subsequent quadriplegia. The hospital then failed to report the injury to the woman’s family for several days, instead transferring her to a separate medical facility without their knowledge or permission.
When the family finally learned of the assault and injury, they were informed by medical staff that her paralysis was permanent and she would never walk again. The woman’s family filed a complaint against the hospital, alleging that the assault and battery and resultant injuries were a direct result of the facility’s intentional strategy to increase profits by means of negligent hiring and supervision. Stephen M. Garcia, William M. Artigliere and David M. Medby of Garcia & Artigliere represented the plaintiffs, resulting in a $725,000 settlement.