July 23, 2013

Florida jury awards $1 billion in punitive damages against nursing home

The Ledger of Lakeland County is reporting that a jury in Polk County Florida has awarded $220 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages against two defendants, Trans Healthcare Inc. and Trans Healthcare Management, in a case alleging negligent care at a nursing home owned by the defendants. 

The story says the trial was limited to damages because the court entered a default against the defendants when they stopped participating in the lawsuit.  They did participate in the damages trial, but their defense was apparently not very persuasive to this jury (to put it mildly). 

The story also reports that the same defendants got hit with a $114 million verdict in another case in 2010, and that the plaintiffs in that case are still trying to collect.  The plaintiffs in this case are not likely to fare any better, but at least their lawyers can tout their $1 billion victory.