Jury awards family $2.5 million for neglect of dad

Attorney for Amel Trezza asked the jury to compensate for his wrongful death at a nursing home  which occurred on May 31, 2001. The total verdict in the case regarding nursing home negligence amounted to $2,522,232.08. The total monetary figure makes the case the largest nursing home negligence case in Connecticut history.

Amel Trezza died on May 13, 2001 after he was administered the wrong food at the Country Manor Healthcare Center in Prospect.  During 2001, there was a widespread strike amongst nursing home employees stemming from a demand for improved wages and conditions of employment.

A replacement worker made the mistake of serving Mr. Trezza, who was blind, food that was supposed to be for a patient on a regular diet. Mr. Trezza was administered a soft diet, which meant that all of his food was put through a food processor, thus making it easier to swallow.

After serving Mr. Trezza the wrong meal and failing to look at the name card, the replacement nurse moved on to other patients in an adjoining room. Meanwhile, Mr. Trezza began to choke after unknowingly beginning to eat the wrong meal.

Mr. Trezza was found unconscious after he had already lost a great deal of oxygen to his brain, leaving him with severe brain damage. He was subsequently intubated, which was not according to his wishes, and died 10 days later.

The case of wrongful death was tried in Waterbury Superior Court in the recent weeks. Because Connecticut doesn’t provide the framework for punitive damages, according to Atty. D’Amico, the case was settled on the basis of non-economical damages. The state of Connecticut enacted such a system as a detriment to lawsuits against nursing homes.