Ventura County, California—a jury Friday awarded the family of a 71-year-old stroke victim $7.75 million after concluding that the woman had suffered elder abuse at a nursing facility. The jury deliberated for two days before awarding the family $2.75 million in actual damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
In 2006, Maria Arellano was a resident at the Fillmore Convalescent Center. Her family noticed during a visit that she had bruising and complained to the staff at the center. Nevertheless, the management failed to investigate the complaint, so the family set up a video camera on Maria’s side table instead. In the videotaped footage, Monica Garcia, an employee at the center, was caught pulling Maria’s hair, bending her neck, fingers, and wrists, and treating her violently in her shower chair.
Garcia pleaded no contest to the simple battery charges brought against her. Her punishment included 10 days work release and according to her attorney, she will no longer work at the nursing facility. The Fillmore Convalescent Center could not be reached for comment on the outcome of the elder abuse lawsuit. However, two weeks ago the center received a five-star rating—the highest rating—from the Nursing Home Compare System, a rating system operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.