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A South Florida senior living community will need to pay the estate of a former resident $2.5 million over allegations that a resident sustained a severe brain injury in an unsupervised bathroom fall.

A jury in the 11th Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County found that Kendall Health Care Properties, doing business as the Palace at Kendall, was negligent in the 2021 incident. The May 2 jury verdict form indicated an award to Constance Poppenhager’s estate of $2 million for her pain and suffering and $500,000 in damages for medical expenses.

“While we are disappointed with the verdict, as litigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time,” Kendall attorneys Dean Nickas and Bryan Walton of Wicker Smith told McKnight’s Senior Living, adding that an appeal is planned.

According to its website, the Palace at Kendall offers independent living, catered living, assisted living, nursing and rehabilitation, home health services, luxury living for those aged 55 or more years, and a continuing care retirement community in South Florida. 

Poppenhager, who had a dementia diagnosis, moved into the Palace in 2021 after breaking her hip in a fall. The day she moved in, staff members allegedly left her sitting on the toilet for almost an hour, forgetting to return to put her to bed, according to Law.com. Without access to her walker or wheelchair, Poppenhager allegedly attempted to get up by herself, fell and struck her head. She died in 2023

The media outlet reported that staff found Poppenager 45 minutes later. A severe brain injury was diagnosed at the hospital. She was bedridden and required 24-hour care in a nursing home following the accident, according to the report. Law.com said that video of the incident “exposed the assisted living facility’s alleged coverup of the event.” 

The Palace Group received Great Place To Work certification and was named No. 1 on Fortune’s 2023 Best Large Workplaces in Aging Services list.