A Sacramento Superior Court jury today found the Emeritus Corp. liable for wrongful death and elder abuse in the February 2009 death of an 82-year-old woman who had lived in the company's Auburn at Emerald Hills assisted living facility.
With most of their answers to the key questions on the verdict form coming on 12-0 votes, the jury awarded the family of Joan Boice $3.875 million for her pain and suffering. That award, however, will be capped at $250,000 by state law. The jury also awarded the Boice children another $250,000 for the loss of their mother's companionship since the date of her Feb. 14, 2009 death.
Jurors also found that Emeritus' upper-level management acted out of malice, oppression and fraud in the care it provided to Joan Boice for the three months she lived at Emerald Hills from September to December in 2008.
Judge Judy Holzer Hersher is expected today to set a schedule for the punitive phase of the trial, which could result in severe penalties against the Seattle-based corporation that is the largest assisted living company in the United States.
After Boice checked out of Emerald Hills, caregivers found at least four significant bed sores on her body that her death certificate said contributed to her passing.
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