NJ jury awards $13.2 million to family of nursing home rehab patient who died

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A nursing home negligence case in New Jersey ended last week with a $13.2 million award to a former resident's family, lawyers have announced.

The case involved Mary Dwyer, who was admitted to the Alaris Health at Harborview facility in Jersey City for short-term rehabilitation after falling at home and dislocating a shoulder, according to plaintiffs' law firm Stark & Stark. Over the course of about three months, the 87-year-old Dwyer developed large Stage IV ulcers, lost 20 pounds, underwent nine wound debridements, two bone shavings and a colostomy — conditions and treatments that attorneys said were “unnecessary and preventable.” She died on Feb. 27, 2010.

“With adequate staffing and a properly run facility she would have completed her rehab and gone back home,” reads a statement from Stark & Stark. “Instead, she died an undignified death in pain.”

The 180-bed, for-profit facility vigorously denies the charges, calling them “false” and erroneous” in a statement. It also noted that the facility "recently received" a 5-star quality measures rating from the government. Harborview intends to appeal the verdict, which it describes as a “gross miscarriage of justice.”

Hundreds of Haborview workers went on strike for three days in 2010 to protest low wages, according to The Jersey Journal.

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