$500,000 Verdict for 100 Year Old Woman
Greg Eiesland of the law firm of Johnson Eiesland, Rapid City, South Dakota prosecuted the case of The Estate of Helen Bumgardner vs. Firesteel Nursing Home in September of 2010. Helen was a 100 year old nursing home resident who was the victim of negligence and neglect at the nursing home. Helen enjoyed her family, friends, church and the other residents at her nursing home. Firesteel violated safety rules and doctor's orders causing Helen to fall and break several bones. She died 31 days later.
The jury agreed that Helen's life should not have been cut short by the neglect of the nursing home. The jury awarded $500,000 for the death of Helen Bumgardner. Greg Eiesland argued in closing argument that "it makes a difference how a person dies." Helen should have been able to live out her natural life with competent personal care.
The verdict has gathered national attention because it encompassed the sanctity of life and an elderly person's right to dignity and adequate care. The verdict also reflected that there is substantial value to a life even when a person is over 100 years old.
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