A Philadelphia jury awarded a total of $6 million to the widow of a 76 year old man who died from bedsores he developed at Jeanes Hospital in 2006. Both Jeanes Hospital and Hillcrest Convalescent Home were sued and the jury found both had been negligent in the care of Mr. Blango, who was first admitted to Jeanes (which is owned by Temple University Health System) in May, 2006 when he was 74 years old and was suffering from confusion and weakness. Mr. Blango’s widow claimed that Jeanes Hospital failed to diagnose a urinary-tract infection that worsened because it was not treated and that ultimately led to the development of severe bedsores. Mr. Blango was transferred to Hillcrest after spending a week at Jeanes and was in Hillcrest for 2 weeks, but during the stay his condition got even worse, requiring him to be transferred back to Jeanes. During his second admission, Jeanes sent Mr. Blango home after only 3 days notwithstanding the fact that his bedsores had been left to fester and he had lost 28 pounds.
Mr. Blango survived at home for 2 years, during which time he was cared for by his wife, but he died in 2008 from the bedsores that first developed in 2006 at Jeanes and worsened at Hillcrest. The jury initially awarded $1 million for Mr. Blango’s pain and suffering, Mrs. Blango’s loss of her husband and medical bills incurred by the Blangos. The jury then considered the issue of punitive damages, which can only be awarded when a jury believes that a defendant acted outrageously and recklessly. In this case, the jury awarded $1.5 million in punitive damages against Jeanes and $3.5 million against Hillcrest for the manner in which they treated Mr. Blango.