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Jury Awards $1.5 Million After Nursing Home Administers Lethal Dose of Morphine

Written September 29, 2014

Earlier this year, a New York Jury awarded a Peruvian man’s family $1.5 million after they lost their loved one due to the error of a nursing home employee. According to a report by the Press Republican, the man died back in 2011 after a nurse at CVPH Medical Center provided him with the lethal dose of morphine in his applesauce.

Evidently, the nurse who administered the lethal dose accidentally gave the man another patient’s medication. The nurse who was supposed to be working on the floor with the patient called in sick that day, and a replacement nurse was assigned. The floor on which the patient was located uses an older, paper-based method of keeping track of patients and their prescriptions. Other floors at CVPH Medical Center use a more reliable and less error-prone electronic system. This may have played a role in the nurse’s fatal error.

Also increasing the likelihood of a problem, the nurse that day was in a rush. When she looked to see if the patient she was working with was who she thought it was, she noticed that there was no name on his wristband. She then asked the 94-year-old man, who suffered from dementia, if he was who she thought, and he replied that he was. She then administered what turned out to be a lethal dose of morphine to the man.

CVPH has told reporters that they are disappointed with the verdict and hope that it gets reduced in later proceedings. The woman told the same reporters that she is not as interested in the amount of the award as she is in making sure those who are responsible are held accountable.

Classic Case of Negligence

This tragic case is a prime example of the kind of negligence that is rampant through the New York nursing home system. Rather than take time to ensure that the patient is who a nurse believes he is, she asked a 94-year-old man who suffers from dementia to confirm a question that he was incapable of accurately answering.

Making matters worse for the man’s daughter is the fact that no one admits to being wrong or making an error in judgment. All too often, nursing homes and hospitals claim that they are not responsible for their own negligence, despite facts that suggest the contrary.

Has Your Loved One Suffered Due to A Nurse’s Negligent Care?

If you have a loved one who has recently suffered serious injury or death due to a nurse’s negligent care, you may be entitled to monetary damages to help compensate you for your loss. Each year, thousands of nursing home residents perish too early due to the inadequate care they receive. And all too often these nursing homes get away with their negligence by denying responsibility and hiding under a thin legal argument. To learn how you may be able to hold a nursing home responsible for its negligence, contact us at (516) 394-4200 to set up a free initial consultation with one of our dedicated nursing home attorneys.

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