Examples of Elder Physical Abuse Results

Bedsore Case

$1,030,000 settlement for an elder residing in a Stockton skilled nursing home who had severe dementia and a nervous habit of rubbing her calf on her wheelchair.   A stage IV ulcer developed on the elder’s calf and became infected.   The wound was hidden from the resident’s family until an emergency room doctor who was treating the elder for an unrelated condition notified the family and reported the neglect to the California Department of Public Health.   In addition to a monetary recovery, we negotiated procedural changes at the facility whereby bedsores and cover-ups would be all but impossible.   Finally, plaintiff’s counsel and the elder’s family contributed $50,000 of the proceeds to the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, a statewide nonprofit agency that helps fight against elder physical and financial abuse.

Stolen Pain Medications

$1,850,000 in settlement was secured for nine residents of a Roseville assisted living facility who had their pain medications stolen and were given placebos instead.   Staff calls to law enforcement led to the arrest of the facility’s director of nursing.   The corporate parent of the assisted living facility claimed that these were rogue acts by an uncontrollable nurse.   Our investigation revealed that the director of nursing had a prior history of substance abuse problems and that the facility’s corporate managers repeatedly refused to investigate staff complaints which suspected her of stealing resident medications.   Ultimately, the director of nursing surrendered her nursing license, pled guilty to felony elder abuse and was sentenced to state prison.     In addition to the monetary award, we negotiated strict policy changes whereby such behavior could never go undetected again.

Wandering From Care Home

$500,000 jury verdict was returned by a Solano County Court in October 2015 after an elder had wandered out of their assisted living facility, spent the night outside and died a week later.   The facility vigorously defended the case claiming that the elder’s family was at fault in admitting them to their facility without fully disclosing the elder’s wandering tendencies and behavioral issues.   The jury rejected defendant’s arguments and awarded $500,000 to the elder’s family.

Wrongful Death Cover-Up

$750,000 settlement was achieved after an elder resident of a skilled nursing home in Manteca that had initially appeared to die of natural causes.   Weeks later a nurse’s aide called the deceased elder’s family and reported that the elder had actually died due to a failed suction machine which the facility knew about for months and failed to repair.   Through investigative efforts ten other families were discovered who also had elders in the facility who had received poor care.   All of the families agreed to file suit resulting in a confidential high seven figure recovery and the eventual closing down of the facility.

Burn Case

$500,000 settlement was achieved for a demented 100 year-old elder of a Fresno skilled nursing facility who suffered full thickness burns between her shoulder blades.   The facility reported to the family that the burns were the result of the elder wandering out of the facility and experiencing prolonged sun exposure.   Plaintiff’s expert proved that this was impossible due to the nature of the clothing the elder was reported to be wearing and that based upon the shape and size of the burns, they were most likely caused by scalding liquid.   Plaintiff’s counsel contributed $30,000 of the settlement in the name of the affected elder to the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, a statewide nonprofit agency that helps fight against elder physical and financial abuse.

Torn Penis Injury Case

$500,000 settlement for a demented male elder residing in a nursing facility where the nursing staff failed to properly secure his Foley catheter so as to leave slack in the catheter.   This failure to properly secure the catheter resulted in erosion of the tip of the penis and eventually the entire penis.   Plaintiff’s counsel contributed $30,000 of the settlement in the name of the affected elder to the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, a statewide nonprofit agency that helps fight against elder physical and financial abuse.

Fall Case

$300,000 settlement achieved against a Sacramento skilled nursing facility that claimed a demented elder had wandered out of their facility and slipped on her own when attempting to strike out at a staff member. The elder suffered a fractured hip which required surgery but led to a full recovery. Our investigation led to an ex-employee who confessed that the fall happened when facility staff lost patience with the elder after having wandered off multiple times earlier that day and then twisted the elder to the ground when she tried to again exit the facility.

Elder Financial Abuse

Ponzi Scheme

In 2013 we accepted a confidential mid-seven figure settlement on behalf of 21 individuals defrauded by Ponzi scheme operator Lee Loomis and his Loomis Wealth Solutions, Inc. We investigated the businesses that benefited from Lee Loomis’ Ponzi scheme and found co-conspirators liable on an aiding and abetting theory.   This substantial settlement was achieved despite the fact that Lee Loomis went bankrupt and to prison.

Fraudulent Medi-Cal Advice

We 500 seniors who were defrauded by disbarred attorney James Walker and his Senior Care Advocates, Inc.   We recovered nearly $4 million on behalf of our clients and were instrumental in having the involved restitution fund laws rewritten for future victims of corporate fraud.

Fraudulent Investments

We recovered $275,000 for an elder who had been talked into making a $70,000 investment in an international company which did not exist.   The defendant was a long-time Sacramento dentist who had no license to sell investments. The dentist has since retired.   We suspect that other defrauded elders may likewise exist but are too embarrassed to come forward.   This embarrassment over making bad financial decisions is a common reason why perpetrators pick seniors to defraud.

Fraud By Family Members

Unfortunately fraud by overreaching family members is the most commonly committed form of financial elder abuse.   We have represented many affected elders and their families and been able to recover countless bank accounts, homes, vehicles and items of personal property.   The financial elder abuse statute in California contains powerful tools including giving us the ability to freeze bank accounts, treble damages and even recover for the elder’s emotional distress.    These cases frequently have the added complexity of locating and collecting on the wrongfully taken monies.   The earlier we are able to get involved in such matters the better our chances of being able to get back the wrongfully taken monies or property. Sometimes an attorney or notary working on behalf of the wrongdoer can also be held responsible for assisting the wrongdoer in creating or changing the documents used to carry out the wrongful acts.

Class Action Litigation

$11.5 Million Class Action Settlement for residents of an understaffed skilled nursing facility chain.   Additionally, approximately $20 Million in additional nursing home staffing is required to be provided over the next three years with special reporting and enforcement requirements.   This case involved appellate issues that were decided by the California Supreme Court. The nursing home chain had more than twenty locations throughout the state including locations in Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Redding, Chico, Fairfield, Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach and San Diego.   From the uncashed settlement checks more than $1.5 million was donated to organizations benefiting elders including Californian’s Advocating Nursing Home Reform, the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Organization and Justice in Ageing.

Multiple high six-figure and low seven-figure confidential settlements for employees of hotel chains that were underpaying their workers for overtime.

Multiple high six-figure and low seven-figure confidential settlements for employees paid a base rate of pay plus commissions (retail sales, collections agents, tow truck operators, etc.) where the employers were underpaying their workers for overtime.

Disclaimer: Past cases are provided for example only. Cases are unique and results will vary depending upon the facts and law involved.

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