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Alice Franz, as Attorney-in-Fact of James Edmond Sharon v. SSC Pueblo Belmont Operating Company, LLC d/b/a Belmont Lodge Health Care Center, et al

3.3 million dollar unanimous verdict in Pueblo County District Court, Pueblo, Colorado against SSC Pueblo Belmont Operating Company, LLC d/b/a Belmont Lodge Heath Care Center, SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services, LLC and SavaSeniorCare Consulting, LLC for negligence and punitive damages. $300,000 for negligence and $3 million in punitive damages. All three Defendants were held jointly liable under a joint enterprise theory based upon evidence and testimony.

Nursing home abuse and neglect victim, James Edmond Sharon, 82, was admitted as resident of Belmont Lodge Health Care Center, 1601 Constitution Ave., Pueblo, Colorado on March 7, 2011 and currently resides at the facility.

His sister and Power-of-Attorney, Alice Franz, filed a lawsuit in 2013 against the nursing home as well as its owners and affiliated companies. Denver based attorney Brent L. Moss and Robert Francis of Little Rock, Arkansas, both of Reddick Moss, PLLC represented the family. Tom Quinn and D. Scott Rendleman of Gordon Rees, PLC in Denver, Colorado represented the Defendants.

Mr. Sharon, who suffered from mild mental retardation and dementia, endured repeated instances of abuse and neglect at the nursing home that led to the development of bedsores so severe and deep that at least one was infected down to his bone. Testimony from caregivers revealed that he was often found covered in his own feces with outdated bandages on his wounds.

In addition, Mr. Sharon’s direct caregivers including the former Director of Nursing at Belmont testified at trial about Mr. Sharon's injuries, shortages of nursing staff and problems state inspectors found with the care of Mr. Sharon.  

Other injuries included other bedsores on his ankles and penis; dehydration; contractures of his upper and lower extremities to the point that he has become permanently placed in a fetal position; eleven different infections including multiple types of urinary tract infections; and poor hygiene.

The above injuries caused Mr. Sharon to suffer extreme pain; physical limitation; permanent physical disfigurement; anguish; unnecessary hospitalizations; and emotional trauma.

The jury heard from several witnesses, including Ms. Franz, two nurses that cared for Mr. Sharon that no longer work for the facility, three current employees of the facility, five medical experts, and the former Director of Nursing of the facility.

Brent L. Moss, one of the attorneys for Mr. Sharon noted that he was "pleased with the outcome for the family; especially in light of the level of injuries and conduct in this case." Mr. Moss further noted that the "focus of the ladies and gentlemen of the jury in recognizing the willful, wanton and reckless conduct of all the Defendants was evident by the amount of punitive damages that were awarded."