|Noteboom Law Firm Attorney Mark Sudderth quoted in Fort Worth Star-Telegram article|
Elderly woman wins multimillion-dollar verdict over Bedford complex
|July 10, 2012 11:42 pm|
Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
For 22 hours, 95-year-old Edna Anderson lay naked on the floor of her apartment in Bedford's Parkwood Retirement Community, an independent-living complex. Anderson said she had pulled an emergency alert cord, but the system didn't work and no one bothered to check on her when she didn't appear for meals.
Entering the apartment and finding Anderson cold to the touch, her daughter, Janet Duermeyer, was convinced that Anderson was dead until she opened her eyes and said, "I am so weak, I am so weak." Since the July 2008 accident, she has used a wheelchair.
On June 22, a Tarrant County jury awarded Anderson damages totaling $2.2 million. The 138-unit Parkwood community, one of more than a dozen properties operated by Dallas businessmen John Neill and Steve Rush, will not pay more than $1.2 million because of state caps on punitive damages if Judge Ken Curry of the 153rd District Court accepts the verdict.
A ruling is expected in coming weeks; Parkwood would then have at least 30 days to appeal or negotiate a lower settlement.
Neill, a licensed nursing home administrator with a Harvard MBA, testified that his portfolio of senior-living properties is worth more than $50 million and that his annual income is about $5 million. Earlier, Telesis disclosed that it carried $1 million in liability insurance on Parkwood, said attorney Mark Sudderth of The Noteboom Law Firm in Hurst, who represented Anderson along with colleague Brian Butcher. A philanthropist, Neill has raised millions for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Fund through an annual Dallas event, the GIBI Investment Symposium.
According to Duermeyer's testimony, Anderson told her that she had undressed to get into the shower when her knees buckled and she collapsed on the bathroom floor. Unable to stand, Anderson dragged herself to the bedroom to summon help on an emergency alert system because she knew the one in the bathroom didn't work.
© 2012 Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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