Jury Awards $7.5 Million to Mother of Disabled Lake Charles Man: Death Linked to Negligent Care

On January 22nd a state court jury found in favor of 84 year old Berna Courville in her suit against Robinswood School (on the former Chennault Air Force Base). Ms. Courville’s son, 39 year old Tony Courville, had been a resident of the facility that cares for people with severe mental retardation for the past 15 years.

According to the Courville family, they noticed their son coughing on June 5-6, 2005. They notified the facility who they allege did not treat the cough. Courville was taken to the hospital with pneumonia on June 14, 2005. His chest was so full of fluid that his heart and trachea had been shoved over. According to the testimony of pulmonologist Dr. Gary Kohler, 4.5 liters were drained from the right side of his chest. Per medical records, Robinswood allowed Courville to gain 41 pounds in 14 days. He did not recover from the pneumonia and eventually passed away.

Courville’s untimely death led his surviving family members to file suit against the facility, alleging they acted improperly and negligently in their care for the man. While Courville’s family believed the death was the result of what should have been an obvious illness that medical caregivers would detect under proper conditions, Robinswood alleged in court that this was not the case and that the care the facility provided was proper.

Robinswood houses 120 patients who cannot live on their own because of their disabilities. They are licensed through the state Department of Health and Hospitals. The facility claims no improper conduct on the part of their staff and plans to appeal the ruling.
If a loved one dies because of the negligence of another party or entity their survivors may be entitled to an award in a wrongful death lawsuit. When the elements of a wrongful death claim are proven a variety of damages can be collected. Survivors may be compensated to cover the costs of medical and funeral expenses of the deceased person. They may also be compensated for pain and suffering. In addition, punitive damages, or those intended to punish wrongdoers and prevent them from harming others, may be possible.

If you have lost someone close to you because of the negligent behavior of another party you may be entitled to compensation.

The experienced attorneys at the Berniard Law Firm will protect your rights. Please give us a call Toll-Free at 1-866-574-8005.