There has been a string of large verdicts against nursing homes for poor care. A few months ago, a Northern California jury returned a verdict of over $600 million against a nursing home chain for deliberately understaffing its homes and putting residents at risk. Two weeks ago an Orange County jury awarded $3.1 million in a case involving a morphine overdose. And last week, a Georgia jury awarded $43 million in a wrongful death lawsuit, believed to be the largest in the state’s history against a nursing home.
In the Georgia case, the surviving family members of 80-year-old Morris Ellison sued after their father died after a stay at the Moran Lake Nursing Home. Mr. Ellison fell numerous times in the home, including one fall that broke his hip. According to reports, the nursing home failed to notify doctors when Mr. Ellison suffered his fracture.
The nursing home was operated by a company called the Forum Group Corp., which was owned by attorney George Houser. Houser represented himself and the nursing home during the trial, and, of course, lost big. But after the verdict, things only got worse for Houser. Immediately after the verdict was rendered, Houser was arrested and taken into custody for contempt of court.
Life got even worse for Houser when and his wife were both indicted for bilking Medicare and Medicaid programs out of more than $30 million. According to the federal indictment, Houser funnel money into personal accounts that were supposed to go toward care to residents at his three nursing homes. While residents suffered, Houser and his wife purchase luxury cars and real estate, including a $1.3 million Atlanta home. Dirtbag.
“Mr. Houser, through his companies, systematically drained the money and resources from his nursing homes [and] caused all sorts of shortages of food, water and medicine and basic supplies,” said Stephen G. Lowry, a plaintiff attorney. “He was severely neglected at the time of his death, malnourished and severely dehydrated.”
At the trial, a nursing home director testified the facility lacked the funds to pay its staff or even pay bills.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Walton Law Firm provide free consultations to individuals and families who believe a loved one has been abused or neglected in the nursing home or assisted living setting. Call (866) 607-1325 for a free and confidential case evaluation.