Experience

Florida’s Court of Appeals upholds decision denying arbitration, ultimately resulting in a multi-million dollar verdict

Location: Florida

Plaintiff: William Yarawsky
Defendant: Bayshore Pointe Nursing & Rehab Center

Description: Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s order denying a defendants’ motion to compel arbitration based upon a finding that the nursing home resident was not a third-party beneficiary of an arbitration agreement signed by the resident’s wife during his admission process. The Second District Court of Appeals’ holding allowed for the plaintiff’s case to proceed before a judge and jury, which ultimately returned a multi-million dollar verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

Sovereign Healthcare of Tampa, LLC v. Estate of Yarawsky, ex rel. Yarawsky, 150 So. 3d 873 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014).

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Georgia’s Court of Appeals affirms decision denying arbitration in nursing home case

Location: Georgia

Plaintiff: Emma Wingo
Defendants: Cartersville Heights Care and Rehabilitation Center

Description: The Georgia Court of Appeals refused to allow nursing home defendants to enforce an arbitration agreement signed during a nursing home resident’s admission process that designed the National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”) to be the arbitrator and that the arbitration be conducted under NAF’s Code of Procedure. The Georgia Court of Appeals explained that as a result of allegations of fraudulent conduct against NAF, NAF agreed to no longer administer consumer arbitrations. According to the Georgia Court of Appeals, since NAF was no longer available, the arbitration agreement was impossible to enforce and the case could proceed before the trial court. The case ultimately settled for a confidential sum.

Sunbridge Ret. Care Associates LLC v. Smith, 757 S.E.2d 157 (Ga. Ct. App. 2014).

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Tennessee Court of Appeals upholds nursing home verdict

Location: Warren County, Tennessee

Plaintiff: Cheatum Myers
Defendant: National Healthcare Corporation, McMinnville
Amount: $4.1 million
Alleged Injuries: Negligence, gross negligence, medical malpractice, and violation of the Tennessee Adult Protection Act that caused the plaintiff to suffer multiple falls with fractures, a Stage IV pressure sore, leg contractures and infection.

Description: The Tennessee Court of Appeals allowed the original decision on Myers vs. National Healthcare Corporation to stand. While the $4.1 million verdict for compensatory damages was upheld, it was reduced by $75,000. During the original trial in 2007, the trial judge dismissed the punitive claim after the jury had awarded $29.8 million in punitive damages. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that the trial judge erred in doing so and granted a retrial for punitive damages. The Tennessee Supreme Court denied Defendants' request to appeal. The case later settled out of court for a confidential sum.

Supreme Court of Florida declares arbitration agreements cannot undermine nursing home residents’ statutory rights

Location: Florida

Plaintiffs: Edward Henry Clark and Angela Gessa
Defendants: Tandem Health Care of Winter Haven and Manor Care of Carrollwood

Description: After nursing home defendants sought to enforce arbitration agreements that limited the nursing homes’ liability either by precluding punitive damages or also by limiting noneconomic damages, the Supreme Court of Florida declared the arbitration agreements unenforceable. The Supreme Court of Florida explained that the arbitration agreements that were executed during the residents’ admission process were unenforceable because the agreements undermined specific statutory remedies in Florida’s Nursing Home Resident’s Rights Act. As a result of the Supreme Court of Florida’s ruling, the two nursing home negligence cases continued before the trial court as opposed to a private arbitrator. Both cases later settled for confidential sums.

Shotts v. OP Winter Haven, Inc., 86 So. 3d 456 (Fla. 2011); Gessa v. Manor Care of Florida, Inc., 86 So. 3d 484 (Fla. 2011).

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

U.S. Supreme Court upholds judgment in nursing home case

Location: Arkansas

Plaintiff: Margaretha Sauer
Defendant: Advocat, Inc.
Amount: $26.4 Million (final judgment)
Alleged Injuries: Neglect by nursing home leading to medical malpractice, tort of outrage, breach of contract, wrongful death after a woman suffered dehydration, malnutrition bedsores, contractures and infections in a nursing home

Description: The United States Supreme Court allowed the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision on Sauer v. Advocat to stand. The Arkansas Court upheld the judgment while reducing the damages from $78.4 million to $26.4 million. Many believe this decision to be among the largest personal injury judgments left undisturbed by the United States Supreme Court.

Florida Court of Appeals upholds nursing home verdict

Location: Hernando County, Florida

Plaintiff: Walter Spilman
Defendant: Beverly Enterprises-Florida, Inc. d/b/a Eastbrooke Health Care Center
Amount: $2.7 Million (jury verdict)
Alleged Injuries: Neglect by nursing home leading to infected bedsores and death

Description: Walter Spilman was literally allowed to rot to death while in residence at a nursing home. Infected bedsores, so deep that his bone tissue was exposed, were a major contributor to his death. The jury returned a verdict of $2.7 million.

In what was perhaps the most important ruling in this area of law in over a decade at that time, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals set a new standard for recovery of damages on behalf of Florida nursing home residents who die because of mistreatment by upholding the verdict.

Judge Winifred J. Sharp concurred specially with the opinion, adding: “There is little I can add to Chief Judge Peterson’s excellent opinion in this case. I write only to say we should never cease to be shocked by Man’s inhumanity to Man, no matter the circumstances. And, a remedy must always be afforded.”

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