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Collier County Jury Awards Family $700,000 in Dementia Patient Drop-Off Case

Posted on September 17, 2012

A Collier circuit court jury has awarded $700,000 to the family of a man who was dropped off at the wrong assisted living facility by a medical transport company in 2007.

What made this case sensational was that the 88-year-old dementia patient wandered off from the facility and into some nearby woods. He wasn’t discovered until a Collier Sheriff’s Deputy found him lying in some dense brush near the facility five days later. The senior was covered in fire ant bites, was dehydrated and delirious, and was suffering from acute renal failure.

The attorney for the family contended that TLC Non-Emergency Medical Transport had not properly trained the driver. Testimony revealed that the three-year employee, who was not fluent in English, had left the elderly patient at the wrong facility despite being told by two nurses that the octogenarian didn’t live there. He never called his supervisors to confirm that fact and even after the mistake was confirmed, the driver didn’t return and TLC didn’t send another driver to retrieve the man until an hour-and-a-half later.

By then, he had disappeared.

Before the botched drop-off, the patient had been at NCH hospital in Naples receiving treatment for chest pains. TLC blamed the hospital for giving the driver a trip ticket for the patient’s old assisted living facility address. The jury did find that the hospital was 10 percent liable and that TLC was 90 percent liable for the medical errors. NCH and the assisted living facility have already settled with the family.

The family was also compensated for hospitalization costs of $69,931. The rest of the damages were awarded for the man’s injuries, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. He died last year.

If somebody you love has been harmed due to the negligence of a medical institution or service provider, you have the right to hold those parties accountable for their actions. Contact an experienced Collier County patient safety attorney at Farah & Farah to discuss your legal options today. We’re a free phone call away at (800) 533-3555.