A Sacramento jury awarded $42.5 million to a plaintiff for malicious, oppressive, and fraudulent conduct by her long-term care provider, Eskaton. The award is believed to be the largest verdict ever reached against an assisted living facility in the United States. The plaintiff was a resident in the memory care unit at Eskaton’s assisted living facility in Sacramento, California.
According to the lawsuit, Eskaton repeatedly administered sedatives to the plaintiff to chemically restrain her. The sedatives directly conflicted with her doctor’s orders and caused to her to choke on her food and die.
The jury was shown evidence that Eskaton had used similar practices on others in the memory care unit of its facility due to understaffing.
According to the lead trial attorney:
“While much can and will be said about this verdict, my clients and our legal team first and foremost would like to thank the jury for its commitment and hard work on this case over eight weeks. We are humbled by their verdict and sincerely hope that it will bring about real change in the way Eskaton operates and cares for its elderly residents like Ms. Lovenstein. While the amount of the award was high, the jury was specifically instructed in the punitive damages phase that they could make an award in an amount necessary to discourage future conduct given the financial condition of Eskaton. The undisputed evidence showed that Eskaton’s net worth is at least $337 million and it has $93 million in cash and liquid assets on hand. The jury got it exactly right by making an award of punitive damages in the amount of $35 million which is a little over 10% of the value of Eskaton.”
Have you or a loved one experienced abuse or neglect at a nursing home? If so, you should consult with our legal team at Brown & Barron to discuss all of your options under the law. Call (410) 698-1717 today to request your free consultation with our lawyers.