Florida jury hands down $1.1 billion award in nursing home lawsuit

Share this article:

*Editor's Note: The article has been updated based on information provided by the plaintiff's law firm on Wednesday. The award amount is $1.1 billion, not $1.2 billion as originally stated, and Trans Health Management was not named as a defendant.

A jury has awarded $1.1 billion in damages to the family of a Florida woman who received poor nursing home care prior to her death in 2007. The amount is believed to be one of the highest ever leveled against a nursing home.

Arlene Townsend was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center in Auburndale, FL, in 2004. After she died at the age of 69, her son filed suit, alleging that she often fell at the Auburndale facility and received poor supervision, according to local reports. 

Trans Healthcare Inc. was named as defendant. They argued that they operated the nursing facility only until Sept. 30, 2004, The Ledger newspaper in Florida reported. The companies stopped participating in the lawsuit, resulting in a default judgment against them in 2011.

The jury was tasked with determining the damages owed, not liability. It reportedly deliberated for about an hour before returning its verdict on Monday. It awarded $110 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages.

A call to attorneys in the case on Tuesday was not returned.*

Auburndale is currently under operational/managerial control of Encore Healthcare LLC, and Ridge Crest Health Care LLC has a 5% or more ownership interest, according to Nursing Home Compare.

Share this article:

More in News

House leader urges HHS to end settlements meant to cut Medicare backlog

The Department of Health and Human Services may not have had the authority to offer providers special settlements to help clear a huge backlog of Medicare appeals, a leading Congressman said in a recent letter to the agency. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) is urging HHS ...

One-fifth of caregivers take 6 months or longer to choose a senior ...

A significant number of people take six months or longer to choose a senior care or housing option for a loved one, recently released survey results showed.

CMS releases updated Minimum Data Set manual

CMS releases updated Minimum Data Set manual

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released an updated version of the Minimum Data Set 3.0 Resident Assessment Instrument manual Friday.