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Kentucky Federal Court Rules on Discovery Requests in Nursing Home Negligence Case

file3441297827352 morguefile username mconnorsIn Frierson v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Inc., the estate of a former nursing home resident filed a lawsuit in Jefferson Circuit Court against the owner of the nursing home where he was living when he died. In its complaint, the estate accused the Jeffersontown, Kentucky, nursing home of committing negligence and violating a number of the duties enumerated in Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 216.515, also known as the Kentucky Residents Rights Statute. The estate also alleged that the injuries from his mistreatment caused the man’s premature death. The skilled nursing facility then removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Louisville based upon diversity of citizenship.

About six months later, the nursing facility asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit because the estate failed to plead its case with sufficient detail. Although the court said the motion was not without merit, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky denied the facility’s request and ordered the parties to proceed with a court-approved litigation plan.

For several months, the man’s estate failed to produce any written discovery. After the deadline for submitting expert reports passed, the nursing home filed a motion to exclude any expert witnesses identified by the estate following the court’s deadline. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky granted the facility’s motion. The nursing home then filed a motion for summary judgment, although the final discovery deadline would not expire for three months.

Next, the estate filed a number of interrogatory requests, asked the federal court to vacate the order excluding its expert witnesses, and sought a new scheduling order. Instead, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky held a conference regarding discovery. One week later, the deadline for all discovery in the case expired.

Since the man’s estate did not comply with the federal court’s discovery order and offered no explanation for its failure, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky denied the estate’s motion to reconsider the exclusion of its expert witnesses. The federal court ordered the nursing home to answer the estate’s timely filed interrogatories and extended the deadline for depositions in the case. The federal court stated that, although the interrogatories were filed after the skilled nursing facility sought summary judgment, the requests must be answered because they were made prior to the court-imposed discovery deadline. Finally, the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky said it would resolve any questions regarding which of the estate’s claims will be allowed to proceed without expert testimony at a later date.

If you believe someone you love was the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, you should speak with a Bowling Green personal injury attorney as soon as possible. To discuss your nursing home neglect case with a caring Kentucky lawyer today, call English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP at (270) 781-6500 or contact our dedicated attorneys online.

Additional Resources:

Frierson v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Inc., Dist. Court, WD Kentucky 2014

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