Nursing home neglect and abuse is a serious and growing problem, both in Kentucky and across the nation. Fortunately for the families of those whose loved ones have been harmed by abuse, neglect, or other wrongful conduct, there are laws in place that can help hold the responsible parties financially accountable for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Many lawsuits have already been filed against nursing homes, seeking compensation for personal injuries and wrongful deaths allegedly caused by negligent or reckless nursing home owners and staff members. Recently, a nursing home injury lawsuit in another state ended in a sizeable verdict in favor of a deceased nursing home resident’s family.
In total, the jury in the case reportedly awarded $5.5 million in damages, which included $57,000 for negligence, $500,000 for wrongful death, and $5 million in punitive damages.
Facts of the Case
In the case of Alcorn v. South Pueblo Medical Investors, Ltd., the plaintiff was the son and personal representative of the estate of a woman who allegedly died while confined to a nursing home in Colorado. According to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, the patient resided at the home for some six months, during which she allegedly suffered multiple instances of both abuse and neglect, including a decline in weight, development of bed sores, and numerous infections.
The nursing home implicated in the suit is owned at least in part by the Life Care Center of Pueblo, which according to news reports is owned by Life Care Centers of America. The plaintiff’s lawsuit asserted that the nursing home was chronically understaffed. State inspection records for the facility indicate more than two dozen reports of physical abuse.
The Defendant’s Connection to Kentucky
Life Care Centers of America is based in Tennessee and has facilities throughout the nation. The company’s website lists six locations in Kentucky (Life Care Center of Bardstown, Life Care Center of LaCenter, Laurel Creek Health Care Center in Manchester, Life Care Center of Morehead, Mountain View Health Care Center in Elkhorn City, and Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Paducah.)
Life Care Center of Pueblo was fined $24,875 in 2013 and $3,333 in 2015. In its most recent federal inspection, it received an overall rating of average but a health inspection rating of below average. With regard to the health inspection, deficiencies were found in the areas of quality care, resident rights, nutrition and dietary, pharmacy services, environmental, and administration.
What Happens Next
The defendant has reportedly vowed to appeal the verdict. If this happens, it could take years before the case is fully resolved. During an appeal, the burden is on the party seeking relief from the lower court’s judgment to convince the higher court that an error was made. If the defendant succeeds in the intermediate court of appeals, the plaintiff may then opt to seek further review from the state’s highest court.
If You Suspect a Loved One Has Been Abused or Neglected
No one should be neglected or abused in a health care setting, especially when elderly and frail. To talk to an experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse attorney about suspected mistreatment of your loved one, call English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley at 270-781-6500 and ask for a free appointment. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases throughout Kentucky, including in Bowling Green, Scottsville, and Brownsville.
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