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92-Year-old Awarded $450,000 In Nursing Home Beating

February 20, 1985

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A nursing home attendant acquitted of a criminal charge in April has been directed by a jury to pay $450,000 to a 92-year-old blind patient who was beaten and tied to her bed after soiling her bedclothes.

The damage suit award by a circuit court jury went to Edith Ward, whose eyes were blackened and her right hand injured in the Dec. 4, 1983, incident at Bowman’s Nursing Center in Ormond Beach.

The jury found that Lurine Bowen, 62, had hit Mrs. Ward after the attendant and another nurse’s aide found the patient standing naked in her room. Her urine-soaked bedclothes had been stripped from her bed.

The jury determined that the second attendant took no part in the beating.

The nursing home, which had been part of the legal action originally, settled out of court, according to attorneys, but the terms were not disclosed.

Mrs. Ward’s attorney, Richard Whitson, said she would probably never collect because the defendant ″doesn’t have any money.″

″This was done for the benefit of the public, so the next nurse might think about it before she engages in that kind of activity,″ Whitson said.

He had asked for a judgment of $1.1 million.

Mrs. Bowen and Pamela Toliver, 22, accused each other on Monday of beating and tying Mrs. Ward to her bed. Miss Toliver testified that Mrs. Bowen became upset and ″hit her two or three times on the head″ as they were putting Mrs. Ward back in bed after changing the bedclothes.

Mrs. Bowen denied hitting the widow. She said Miss Toliver struck the patient.

Last April, Mrs. Bowen was found innocent of battery in the incident.

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