We represented the two adult sons of a 89 year-old gentleman who lived in a skilled nursing home in the Bay Area. The father had a series of several seizure episodes and was put on an anti-seizure medication by his physician. At one point, the dosage of the mediation was changed right before the holidays. The nurses at the nursing home did not have the exact size pill to accommodate the new dose. Instead of at least giving the patient the old dose, or simply cutting pills in half, or obtaining the correct dosage from the pharmacy, the nurses working the holiday shift failed to give the patient any medication for over four days and on the fifth day he suffered a grand mal seizure that caused his death.
The nursing home contended that the patient was in poor health, did not have long to live, and may have suffered the seizures even if the medicine had been given. Our retained expert also conceded the patient may have had only a year or two to live without this tragic mistake due to his other health problems and advanced age.
However, the case settled for a confidential amount well above the $250,000 MICRA cap on pain and suffering. The nursing home settled for substantially more than the cap out of fear that The Zinn Law Firm would have proved punitive damages for Elder Abuse for their failure to dose the medication for over four days.
The firm represented the family of a 92 year-old great grandmother who died in a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) in California. Although she was 92 and suffering from severe back pain, she was otherwise in wonderful health for her age and visited her great-grandchildren several times a year who lived hundreds of miles away, in San Diego. Her physician prescribed Morphine Sulfate sustained release tablets, but accidentally wrote a prescription for regular release Morphine Sulfate. This caused the patient to take too many Morphine Sulfate tablets over a several day period. She began to have extreme side-effects of drowsiness and loss of cognition that were plain to any observer, including her concerned family members.
The aids at the RCFE were inexperienced and did not have proper training. When the patient declined, they called her physician at the hospital, but he did not return calls for two days over the weekend. Instead of calling 911 as they should have, they watched the patient die over the course of four days.
The firm obtained a $600,000 settlement on behalf of the children and the great grandchildren of the Decedent from the RCFE and the hospital that employed the physician who made the mistake despite the fact that the Decedent was 92 and the hospital and physician were protected by MICRA’s $250,000 cap on pain and suffering.
California Law limits who can recover for the wrongful death of a loved one. The Zinn Law Firm has represented numerous families in wrongful death actions who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s mistake or neglectful conduct. If you have suffered a tragedy in your family, you need attorneys who have the compassion and understanding to help you through the emotional challenges you will face, as well as the experience and skill to protect your legal rights.
Please contact us to learn more: (415) 292-4100.