Actual Case (not my case): $100,000 for pain and suffering for each adult child (I assume that they are all 25 or older) for the death of their mother who was a resident of St. Joseph’s ALC (Vista LLC) in Palm Beach County, Florida. The children alleged inadequate care in this nursing home wrongful death lawsuit.
The adult daughter claimed that her mother fell on a walkway with bumps and she died from her injuries. She claimed that the assisted living facility – where her mother was living – knew or should have known the her mother was a high fall risk because she had several problems such as dementia, prior history of falls, balance issues, a limp, and she was overweight.
The assisted living facility claimed that it was not at fault. There were 5 adult children and the total verdict was for $500,000 and all of it was apparently for pain and suffering of the adult children. The verdict was on January 2013. The case is Van Kirk v. Vista, LLC d/b/a St. Josephs’s ALC.
My thoughts: I would like to know how much of this verdict the adult children were able to collect. I say that because in many assisted living facility (ALF) cases the ALF has little insurance and a wasting limits policy. The amount that each adult child was awarded for the pain and suffering from the death of their mother is at the low end of the settlement range for similar cases. If the decedent was married at the time of her death, the adult children would not have a wrongful death case because they are 25 or older. The husband would have a wrongful death case. Apparently the jury did not find the mother at fault for the accident. Even if she was at fault, in Florida should still be able to have a case if she could show the ALF was at-fault.
The two biggest challenges in cases against ALF are:
- The ALF does not have enough liability insurance to pay for your damages.
- Similar to #1, the ALF has a wasting limits policy. This means that your claim is competing against other claims to get a limited amount of insurance.
What do you think about this verdict? Please share your comments below.
The picture above is not from the actual case.