Bed Sores in Nursing Homes. What You Should Know.

Date: March 27, 2010

Do you have concerns about a loved one confined to a nursing home who suffers from bed sores which have gone untreated?

Your loved one may be entitled to compensation if it is determined that his or her bed sores were preventable or, even if preventable, had gone untreated.

In a story reported by Christopher K. Hepp of the Philadelphia Inquirer for www.philly.com, details of a jury verdict in a case in which a man who suffered from bed sores and ultimately died from their complications were explained.

In a highly unusual step for such a case, a Philadelphia jury yesterday leveled $5 million in punitive damages against Jeanes Hospital and a Wyncote nursing home in the death of a man who developed ultimately fatal bedsores while at both facilities.

The damages – $1.5 million against Jeanes and $3.5 million against Hillcrest Convalescent Home- came two weeks after the same Common Pleas Court jury awarded $1 million in compensatory damages in the case. The damages were awarded to the widow of Joe N. Biango, who died of bedsores in 2008, two years after being discharged from Jeanes Hospital in the city\’s Fox Chase section.

Steven R. Maher, who represented Biango\’s widow, said that in his 25 years of handling such cases, this was only the second time a jury had awarded punitive damages.

Biango went to Jeanes on May 21, 2006, after suffering weakness and confusion. He was 74 at the time and was thought to have suffered a stroke.

Doctors at Jeanes failed to properly diagnose that Biango was suffering from a urinary-tract infection that, as a result, worsened and left him susceptible to the bedsores that ultimately killed him.

After about a week at Jeanes, Biango was transferred to Hillcrest, where he stayed two weeks until his condition worsened and he was returned to Jeanes. He was released to go home after three days.

It was alleged that workers at Jeanes and Hillcrest allowed the bedsores to fester and Biango to go malnourished to the point that he lost 28 pounds.

After he returned home, Biango was cared for by his wife, Shirley, before dying from the bedsores two years later.

If you believe a loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact either Patrick E. Dougherty (570-288-1427, pdougherty@dlplaw.com) or Sean P. McDonough (570-347-1011, smcdonough@dlplaw.com) or any of the lawyers at DLP.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.