Jury Awards Ventura Nursing Home Abuse Victim $7.75 Million

A Ventura nursing home called Fillmore Convalescent Center, its owner, and one of its employees were hit with a $7.75 million verdict yesterday after a jury found them liable for elder abuse. It has to be one of the largest verdicts in California in a case involving nursing home abuse or neglect.

The facts are egregious. In 2006, the family of 71-year-old Maria Arellano, a stroke victim who was also non-verbal, began to notice suspicious bruising. They complained to the nursing home administration, but it failed to look into it. The family then placed a hidden camera in Ms. Arellano’s room, which caught caregiver Monica Garcia slapping Arellano, pulling her hair, bending her fingers, and treating her violently. When the tape was revealed, Garcia was charged with criminal acts, and the family brought an elder abuse lawsuit against the nursing home.

The lawyer for Arellano, Greg Johnson, must have done an excellent job. He told the Ventura County Star that he offered to settle the case for $500,000, but was rebuffed. The nursing home, through its attorney Tom Beach, never offered a dime to resolve the case. “There was a lot of arrogance,” said Johnson.

Ironically, Fillmore Convalescent received a five-star rating, the highest, from the Nursing Home Compare system, operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Source: Ventura County Star

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Walton Law Firm LLP provide free consultations to individuals and families who believe a loved one has been abuse or neglected in the nursing home or assisted living setting. Cases are accepted in all Southern California counties.