WOBURN, Mass. — A Middlesex County jury has awarded $14 million to the family of a 90-year-old nursing home resident who died in 2008 after being taken to the hospital suffering from a variety of untreated ailments.
Genevieve Calandro was taken to the hospital after falling out of her wheelchair at the Radius HealthCare Center in Danvers. Doctors found a festering pressure sore on her back, acute appendicitis, a urinary tract infection so severe it had invaded her bloodstream, kidney failure, uncontrolled diabetes and severe dehydration. She died a month later.
It is the largest nursing home-related verdict in Massachusetts in at least the last decade, according to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, which tracks jury awards.
Most of the award, $12.5 million, was for punitive damages, with the jury indicating that the “gross negligence” was a “substantial contributing factor” in causing the woman’s death.
Radius has since gone out of business.
Lawrence Kenney, who represented Radius, told The Boston Globe that the company admitted there was a “breach” in the standard of care Calandro received, but argued that it did not cause her death.
Calandro’s son, Garry Calandro, said he hoped the award would capture the attention of the nursing home industry.
“That is the only way to send a message, or to punish people, and somebody in that business certainly needs to look at it with a more serious manner than just as a big money-making business,” he said.
When her family brought up their concerns about her health, staff blamed a virus going through the home.