California Team Secures Significant Trial Victory in Multimillion-Dollar Wrongful Death Elder Abuse Case
San Bernardino, Calif. (December 28, 2020) - San Bernardino Partners Rima Badawiya and Mark Schadrack recently secured a trial victory in the Los Angeles Superior Court in a challenging wrongful death elder abuse matter involving a multimillion-dollar demand, unfavorable evidence, and a trial that lasted several weeks.
In the underlying case, the decedent, who was a resident in an assisted living facility, had seven documented falls, with the last one resulting in a subdural hematoma that caused the death. The heir plaintiff, who was represented by one of California’s first-rate elder law attorneys, alleged wrongful death, elder abuse, willful misconduct, and negligence against the assisted living facility and its management company. The case was tried to the court after the plaintiff waived a jury trial.
The evidence at trial showed that the care providers in the client facility failed to follow the facility’s own policies and procedures relating to falls. It also demonstrated failures to update the service plan appropriately, obtain a timely physician consult for the resident, and communicate with the family regarding the resident’s many falls. In addition, the evidence established that there were failures to complete incident reports, missing incident reports, and the replacement of an incident report with the allegation of a cover-up. Moreover, there were conflicting reports and testimony from the client’s employees.
Notwithstanding the challenges that the evidence presented, Ms. Badawiya and Mr. Schadrack successfully convinced the court that there was no justification for punitive damages, which led to a specific finding of no despicable conduct. The court ultimately awarded the plaintiff damages in an amount that was a fraction of the demand.
Ms. Badawiya serves as co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Healthcare, Medical Malpractice, and Long-Term Care & Elder Law Practices as well as vice-chair of its Healthcare Regulatory & Compliance Practice. Her civil trial practice focuses on the defense of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare and long-term care professionals and organizations. She has successfully tried cases on behalf of medical providers as well as Assisted Living entities. She also has considerable experience in the areas of complex litigation, intentional and business torts brought against religious organizations and the hospitality industry.
Mr. Schadrack is a member of Lewis Brisbois’ Long-Term Care and Healthcare Practices. He is experienced in a broad range of civil litigation matters, including elder abuse, general liability, intellectual property, securities, corporate shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, real property disputes, insurance coverage disputes, construction, employment, landlord/tenant disputes, and collection matters. He has successfully tried many cases in state and federal courts, including trademark and trade secret cases.