In July 2004, an Erie County jury awarded plaintiffs, Thomas S. Kolbert and the Estate of Victoria Poielski, $1,500,000 in damages in a lawsuit brought under the New York Public Health Law for nursing home negligence. The plaintiffs alleged that Ms. Poielski, an 80 year-old resident suffering from dementia, fell while unattended in her bathroom and suffered a fractured right elbow.
Apparently, the resident was left alone on the toilet for a three hour period. When no staff member came to her assistance, she tried to move from the toilet to her wheelchair and suffered a fall. Pressure sores (bedsores, decubiti) also developed on her heels after the fall. The jury verdict was later reduced by the Appellate Division to $500,000.