A jury in New York returned a $19 million verdict against a Brooklyn nursing home in a nursing home abuse and neglect suit involving a resident who experienced substantial weight loss and developed bed sores which eventually contributed to cause the nursing home residents wrongful death. During the nine months the man was admitted to the defendant nursing home, he lost 89 pounds and developed 20 separate bed sores. The sores later became infected and caused his death.The verdict included $3.75 million in compensatory damages and the balance was for punitive damages. Part of the jury’s basis for the punitive damage award was evidence that the nursing home staff falsified chart entries to hide the neglect of the man’s care.There are three main factors which contribute to the development of bed sores: weight loss, immobility, and incontinence. This main clearly experienced a substantial weight loss during the period of his residency at the nursing home, and this pre-disposed him to developing the bed sores. Maintaining good nutritional parameters is crucial to bed sore prevention and should have been addressed in the man’s care plan. If nutrition was addressed in the care plan, clearly the plan was ineffective and needed to be revised.Chart falsification and alteration was part of the reasons for the punitive damage award. Unfortunately, in Illinois there are no punitive damages in wrongful death suits. Even more unfortunately, chart alteration and falsification is a common occurrence. As experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers, one thing that we do in every nursing home case is thoroughly review the chart for inconsistencies which indicate falsification or alteration. Unfortunately we find it far too often. In one recent case, we found that the nursing home staff continued to chart that they were caring for her when she had already been taken to the hospital. When this kind of evidence is uncovered, it creates a powerful incentive to the nursing home to settle the case.