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New Jersey Psychiatric Hospital Named as Defendant in Federal Lawsuit for Negligent and Intentional Mistreatment

The family of a New Jersey woman under the care of the Ancora Psychiatric Hospital has filed a federal lawsuit against the hospital alleging that the woman suffered negligently- and intentionally-inflicted injuries at the hands of the hospital’s staff. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the woman was injured when she fell while under the care and supervision of hospital staff. The lawsuit also alleges multiple instances in which the woman was subjected to intentional physical abuse and mistreatment by Ancora employees, resulting in physical as well as emotional injuries. At present the lawsuit remains unresolved.

Negligence vs. Intentional Conduct: Why the Difference Matters

In the vast majority of medical malpractice suits, the injured party (the plaintiff) brings a lawsuit against individual(s) and/or entities who are alleged to have caused the plaintiff’s injuries (the “defendant(s)”) through careless (or “negligent”) behavior that fell below an acceptable level of care that the patient would expect under the circumstances. Succeeding in a medical malpractice lawsuit premised on a defendant’s negligence usually results in the plaintiff being awarded his or her medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses and losses directly attributable to the negligent conduct.

When a defendant acts intentionally (or, at the very least, ignores a substantial risk of harm occurring to the plaintiff), the plaintiff is still entitled to seek compensation for the losses and expenses he or she sustained as a result of the injury. But the plaintiff may also seek punitive damages in addition to damages meant to compensate the plaintiff for his or her losses. Punitive damages (as the name implies) are meant to punish the defendant for engaging in willful and wanton behavior, or intentional behavior, in order to dissuade the defendant from engaging in similar behavior in the future, and to warn others who might be tempted to act in a similar manner about the serious consequences that can follow.

Why Would an Injured Plaintiff Want Punitive Damages?

At first, some may wonder why a seriously-injured plaintiff or the family of a deceased injury victim would want to pursue punitive damages in the first place. No amount of money can reverse a fatal medical mistake or undo permanent, disabling injuries. However, punitive damages can give plaintiffs and their families some measure of comfort and closure – that justice was served when they or their loved ones were injured through intentional or reckless conduct.

Seek Assistance from a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

At Bertram & Amell, your knowledgeable and dedicated Washington, DC personal injury law firm, we are committed to helping you and your family recover the compensation you need following a personal injury incident caused by another’s actions. We will carefully review and evaluate your case and aggressively pursue the damages available to you under the law. Our goal is to help you and your family move forward from your injury incident. Contact our firm today by calling (202) 803-5800 and learn how we can assist you after an injury accident.

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