$1,500,000 Verdict for Estate of Man Given Morphine Mistakenly
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
In a skilled nursing facility in Plattsburg, Plaintiff was accidently given a dose of morphine. Plaintiff who previously lived in the Upstate NY area, moved to a nursing facility because he was over 90 years old and suffered from Alzheimer's. On the day if the incident, Plaintiff responded to the name of another patient and was subsequently administered the narcotic. He developed aspiration which caused repeated choking. Plaintiff's condition ultimately deteriorated to respiratory failure causing his death.
Although Plaintiff did answer to the name of another patient, Plaintiff's counsel contended that his identification bracelet should have been checked. Counsel further argued that the administration of morphine to the decedent was reckless and negligent and violated New York State Public Health law.
The presiding Judge directed a verdict for the Plaintiff, establishing that the defendant violated the Public Health Law. The Jury awarded the Plaintiff's estate $800,000 in punitive damages, $500,000 for deprivation of rights and $200,000 for a survival claim.