Florida Court of Appeals upholds nursing home verdict

Location: Hernando County, Florida
Plaintiff: Walter Spilman
Defendant: Beverly Enterprises-Florida, Inc. d/b/a Eastbrooke Health Care Center
Amount: $2.7 Million (jury verdict)
Alleged Injuries: Neglect by nursing home leading to infected bedsores and death


Walter Spilman was literally allowed to rot to death while in residence at a nursing home. Infected bedsores, so deep that his bone tissue was exposed, were a major contributor to his death. The jury returned a verdict of $2.7 million.

In what was perhaps the most important ruling in this area of law in over a decade at that time, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals set a new standard for recovery of damages on behalf of Florida nursing home residents who die because of mistreatment by upholding the verdict.

Judge Winifred J. Sharp concurred specially with the opinion, adding: “There is little I can add to Chief Judge Peterson’s excellent opinion in this case. I write only to say we should never cease to be shocked by Man’s inhumanity to Man, no matter the circumstances. And, a remedy must always be afforded.”