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DECATUR, Ga. -- The family of the late Alphonzo White, Sr., won a $2.2 million verdict today against Rosemont Nursing Home, where he resided until his death.
The verdict of $1 million in actual damages and $1.2 million in punitive damages was awarded after a jury heard evidence that he had suffered from 22 pressure sores, malnutrition, dehydration and severe contractures while a resident at the nursing home -- and that Rosemont did nothing to stop his suffering.
"I am extremely pleased that Mr. White's family has achieved some measure of justice for his unconscionable treatment by Rosemont," said Paul Doolittle of Motley Rice LLC, one of the attorneys for the plaintiff. "More than that, this verdict will send a message to every nursing home that putting profits ahead of sound patient care carries a very high price -- and that they will be held accountable for abuse and negligence."
Evidence presented at the trial revealed that White's physician prescribed an air-fluidized mattress for him that would have aided greatly in the treatment of his pressure sores. However, the nursing home ignored the physician's order because air-fluidized mattresses are more expensive than the Geomatt that was causing White's sores.
The contractures that resulted from the pressure sores and White's other untreated medical problems drew him into a fetal position and caused a pathological fracture. The contractures were so severe that after his death, his legs had to be fractured before he could be placed into his casket.
White, a resident of Stone Mountain, Ga., was a mill worker and the father of seven children.
Attorneys for White's family were John Suthers and Chris Thompson of Suthers Law Firm, Savannah, Ga., and Doolittle of Motley Rice LLC, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Source: Motley Rice LLC