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$1.5 MILLION AWARDED FOR CARE CENTER INJURY

A State Supreme Court jury has awarded $1.5 million to the estate of a woman who broke her arm after being left alone on a toilet for three hours in Maplewood Health Care Center, Cheektowaga.

Victoria Popielski fell and broke her arm while trying to get back into her wheelchair from the toilet on Aug. 24, 1998, said attorney Donald P. Chiari, who, along with Michael Scinta, represented Popielski's estate.

Chiari said Popielski experienced dehydration and severe bed sores as a result of the fall. She died Sept. 13, 1999, at age 81.

Chiari also charged that the nursing home falsified records about the fall and concealed the severity of the bed sores from Popielski's family.

The verdict, reached Wednesday after a two-week trial before State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek, was for pain and suffering.

The funds will be provided to Popielski's estate. The executor is her son, Cheektowaga Town Justice Thomas Kolbert. John Eagan, who represented the health care facility, said the verdict will be appealed.

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