Pueblo Nursing Home Found Guilty of Negligence, Pays $3.3 million

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PUEBLO, Colo. Belmont Lodge Health Care Center in Pueblo will have to pay millions of dollars to a Southern Colorado man and his family after a jury found the nursing home was negligent in his care.

James Sharon, 82, has lived at the nursing home since 2011. His sister, Alice Franz, says he suffers from mild mental retardation and dementia. Franz says since he was admitted to Belmont Lodge Health Care Center, he developed more health problems.

"He wasn't treated with dignity and respect," said Franz.

According to the original complaint filed in 2013, it says her brother suffered from bed sores, dehydration, malnutrition, UTIs, skin tears and abrasions, hyperkalemia (high potassium), multiple infections including E. coli and significant weight loss. After nothing was done to help her brother, Franz was fed up and decided to bring these issues to court.

Franz's attorney is Brent Moss of Reddrick Moss Law Firm.

"You had complaints from Miss. Franz, you had complaints from employees, from short staffing and turnovers, and they needed help," said Moss.

Last week, Franz finally found relief when the jury found Belmont Lodge Health Care Center guilty. Franz and her brother were rewarded $3.3 million. The jury allocated $300,000 because of negligence and $3,000,000 for punitive damages.

"He knew I was in court and I talked to him the other day... I said 'How'd you feel that you get to leave here finally?' He said, 'Boy that would be great,'" said Franz.

Franz says she's happy her brother is getting the justice he deserves.

"It's like a miracle," said Franz.