A trial will soon conclude in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in an attempt to resolve issues stemming from a Florida nursing home negligence case. The facts of the underlying case, Estate of Jackson v. Trans Healthcare, illustrated that a woman had been placed in a Florida nursing home for roughly a year. After she had left the facility in 2003, the victim died as a result of alleged mistreatment, including malnutrition and neglect.
The wrongful death claim went to trial in 2010, when the deceased’s estate obtained a $110 million judgment. However, the operators of the nursing home did not pay, or even appeal, the judgment. When the estate attempted to collect the judgment, it ran into major difficulties due to alleged fraud on behalf of the defendants.
The plaintiff’s estate has argued that several of the defendants have effectively made themselves judgment-proof by structuring their corporate organizations and transferring liabilities to a shell company, while at the same time establishing a chain of nursing homes that are protected from judgment. Apparently, according to the plaintiffs, two companies that operated the chain of nursing homes at issue were involved in a series of transactions in 2006 in which their stock was purchased by two separate entities. One of those entities kept the companies’ assets, and one took on the liabilities.
The entity holding the liabilities was then subsequently purchased, according to plaintiffs, in a suspicious transaction for the purpose of reducing liabilities. Approximately a year before the wrongful death trial, the two nursing home companies filed for bankruptcy receivership. The trial went forth without legal representation on behalf of the companies, and the multi-million dollar judgment was entered. Following attempts to collect, the estate added 14 new defendants to the lawsuit a year after the original trial. In 2011, the two main defendants were forced into the current involuntary Chapter 7 case.
After nearly four years of attempting to recover their deserved damages, the family members of the deceased person are asking a bankruptcy judge to consider the complex corporate transaction and rule that the ultimate owners of the nursing home are legally responsible for committing fraud. The estate is seeking punitive damages for the claimed fraudulent transfer. The trial is set to conclude in October 2014, and the outcome will be significant for the estate in this case, as well as for a number of other litigants who have current or past claims against the same defendants.
If you or someone you love has suffered from injuries as a result of nursing home negligence or abuse, it is crucial to obtain aggressive legal representation. The injury lawyers at Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano are experienced in litigating a wide variety of nursing home cases. Our skilled attorneys will strive to resolve your claim quickly and successfully, so you can get the compensation you deserve. From Naples and surrounding Collier County, to Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, and other communities in Lee County, our legal team is dedicating to representing injury victims throughout Southwest Florida. Contact us online or call toll-free at (800) 238-7442 to discuss your case today.