NPR Wins $2 Million Nursing Home Verdict
July 30, 2003
The Estate of a deceased East Texas school teacher was recently awarded $2,000,000 after a four-day jury trial in Cass County, Texas. Nix, Patterson & Roach attorneys Anthony Bruster and Chad Trammell represented the family of Pauline E. Penny in a nursing home neglect case against Sun Healthcare Group, Inc. and Sunbridge Healthcare Corporation. The Defendants previously owned a nursing facility in Linden, Texas, where Ms. Penny had resided for the last several years of her life. From mid-2000 through March 2001, the nursing home allowed Ms. Penny to fall at least 15 times, sustaining numerous injuries. Ms. Penny fell for the last time on March 27, 2001, when the wheelchair she was in was left unattended by a nursing home employee and rolled into the parking lot, catapulting her to the concrete. Ms. Penny died four days later from the head injuries she sustained in the fall. NPR put on evidence during the trial that the corporate Defendants made conscious, budget-driven decisions to understaff the nursing home in order to maximize financial gain. Plaintiff alleged that just one more employee attending Ms. Penny on March 27 could have saved her life, but the Defendants’ short-staffing left no one available to care for Ms. Penny. A 12-person jury decided unanimously on June 6, 2003 that Sun Healthcare Group, Inc. was 75% responsible and Sunbridge Healthcare Corporation 25% responsible for Ms. Penny’s damages, which the jury assessed at $2,000,000.