Articles Tagged with punitive damages

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juryIn July of 2008, Genevieve Calandro was a patient at a nursing home in Danvers, Massachusetts.  After an injury in which Ms. Calandro fell from her chair she was brought to the hospital where she was found to have pressure ulcers on her back side, appendicitis, a urinary tract infection, kidney failure, and a slew of other ailments that one might think would be remedied in a nursing home or long term care setting.  Instead, due to the inaction on part of the nursing care facility, these ailments were exacerbated due to the neglect of those that were charged with taking care of the elderly patient.  While doctors and nurses at the hospital made their best attempt at helping Ms. Calandro, she ultimately succumbed to death due to the host of problems that her estate claims were a direct result of the negligence on part of the health care facility.

The estate of Ms. Calandro brought a wrongful death suit against Radius Health Care Center, claiming that the facility was grossly negligent in the care and treatment of the decedent.  The family of Ms. Calandro claimed that they were repeatedly assured that Ms. Calandro was doing well and progressing as she should in light of complaints Ms. Calandro made to her family.  In response to various questions and criticisms by the family, the facility claimed that Ms. Calandro was just experiencing a flu that was going around the facility.  Little did the family know that any potential flu was the least of her problems.

Among the causes of action put forward by the estate, the Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant facility was grossly negligent.  Gross negligence is substantially and appreciably higher in magnitude than ordinary negligence.  In order to support a finding of gross negligence, the conduct of a defendant must be characterized by a high degree of culpability and indifference to duty.  Gross negligence is commonly defined as very great, or excessive, negligence.  It is something more than momentary thoughtlessness (such as a car accident) or a slight error of judgment.  It implies an extreme departure from the ordinary standard of care individuals or organizations may owe to another. Continue reading →

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