Carol LaBella was 85 years old in June of 1995 when she fractured her left humerus and was admitted to a Broward nursing home for rehabilitation. When she was discharged approximately eight months later, Carol was suffering from dehydration, sepsis, osteomyelitis, cellulitis, and had Stage IV decubitus skin ulcers. Carol’s daughter, Cathy, was horrified. She did not believe there was any recourse, but on a suggestion of an acquaintance, called Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. In an effort to prevent this type of elderly abuse from reoccurring at this nursing home, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. was asked to file suit. Approximately one year later, the case was settled at mediation for $300,000. Most significantly, “the nursing home was forced to acknowledge that families do not have to tolerate this conscious indifference to the general health, safety, and welfare of our elderly community,” said David Sampedro.

Unfortunately, this is a scene much too common in many nursing homes around Florida. Brett Panter noted that on a larger scale, “the public as a whole benefits from these type of cases because they compel nursing homes to recognize that they have a responsibility in caring for our loved ones as their own families would.” Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is committed to continuing to work to improve the quality of care at all nursing homes throughout Florida. This is just one way in which Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is helping make Florida a safer place for all families.


  • Erythema not resolving within thirty (30) minutes of pressure relief.
  • Partial thickness loss of skin layers involving epidermis and possibly penetrating into but not through dermis.
  • Full-thickness tissue loss extending through dermis to involve subcutaneous tissue.
  • Deep tissue destruction extending through subcutaneous tissue to fascia and may involve muscle layers, joint, and/or bone.

*The above trial exhibit was prepared to explain to a jury the different stages of decubitus skin ulcers and their cause.