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Nursing Home Negligence Case Leads to $13.2 Million Jury Award

Nursing Home Negligence

The family of a Jersey City resident claimed in their nursing home negligence lawsuit that a facility on Ogden Avenue caused Mary Dwyer to suffer painful injuries during her stay there. The jury agreed with the family and recently handed down a $13.2 million award to hold Harbor View Healthcare Center accountable for its alleged negligence.

The Dwyer case is an alarming example of elder negligence that ultimately ended with the woman’s death on February 27, 2010 at the age of 87. The cause of the woman’s death is unknown at this time; it is also unknown whether the alleged actions or inactions on the part of the healthcare staff directly led to Mary Dwyer’s demise.

Lawsuit alleges severe medical negligence

According to the lawsuit, this case of nursing home negligence involved multiple and unnecessary medical procedures. Among those procedures was a colostomy that necessitated the manual reinsertion of her bowels into her abdomen. As reported in, a statement from the family noted that, “With adequate staffing and a properly run facility she would have completed her rehab and gone back home. Instead, she died an undignified death in pain.”

This tragedy began when Mary Dwyer was released from the Harbor View hospital after having been hospitalized for three days. The Jersey City woman had fallen at home and suffered a dislocated shoulder. She subsequently spent almost 100 days in the nursing home facility for physical rehabilitation. During that time, the family noted that she lost 20 pounds and endured the aforementioned medical procedures.

Additionally, Dwyer developed an extensive bedsore, allegedly due to the negligence of the nursing home staff. For the prevention of bedsores, hospitals widely adopt the protocol of turning a patient every two hours. According to the lawsuit, Dwyer was repositioned just 10 times throughout her 100-day stay.

Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are a serious medical condition that can develop rapidly and are notoriously difficult to treat. If the ulcer is allowed to advance without treatment, the damage can be so extensive as to allow the exposure of visible bone, muscle, and tendons. did not mention which stage of bedsore Mary Dwyer suffered, yet did note that the family called the ulcer “massive.”

Nursing home plans to appeal the jury verdict

The defendant, Harbor View Healthcare Center, is owned by Avery Eisenreich, who also owns 14 additional facilities in New Jersey under the Alaris Health umbrella. The owner strongly endorsed the nursing home and the actions or inactions of the healthcare staff, stating that the facility was not responsible for the woman’s injuries or her death. Following the announcement of the massive jury award, Alaris Health released a statement that called the decision “false, erroneous, and a gross miscarriage of justice.” Alaris Health went on to note that, “We take the allegations against our staff very seriously and intend to vigorously defend and appeal this decision.”

In the event that the outcome of the nursing home negligence lawsuit is appealed, the trial judge will review written briefs from both parties and may order a hearing. The decision of the judge may involve ordering a new trial, upholding the verdict, reversing the verdict, or reducing the award.