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Negligence lawsuit filed against Searcy, AR nursing home

SEARCY, AR, April 23, 2010/PRESS RELEASE SITE/ - A woman who entered Beverly Healthcare & Rehab Center for care during cancer treatment suffered bedsores, malnutrition and died after less than a month in the facility.

Lois Turner had been caring for her husband, who had lung cancer, when she fell ill with cancer herself. Doctors thought her rectal cancer was treatable through six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Because Lois Turner needed morning and afternoon treatments and her husband was too ill to take her, doctors recommended she stay in a nursing home that could care for her, as well as transport her to the appointments.

So Lois Turner went to Beverly (the facility is now known as Searcy Healthcare Center) on November 26, 2002. In the 24 days she spent there, Turner suffered from multiple bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, excessive weight loss, poor hygiene and severe pain. She was eventually transferred to Central Arkansas Hospital where she died on December 28, 2002.

Before Lois Turner learned she had cancer, she was living at home and caring for her husband. She agreed to go the nursing home just long enough to tackle the cancer. Management, doctors and staff at Beverly knew she was a sick woman and claimed to have the skills and resources necessary to rehabilitate her. Instead, they hastened her death, according to the suit.

On March 25, 2010, Turner's daughter, Shirley Zomant, filed a lawsuit against Beverly Healthcare & Rehab Center, alleging negligence, felony-level violation of the Abuse of Adults Act, and violation of the Long Term Care Facility Resident's Act. Zomant hired Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. to represent her in the case.

Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. is a full-service civil litigation and personal injury law firm. While the firm focuses on claims where people have been injured because of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, it pioneered nursing home litigation and has been fighting for elder abuse victims for the last 25 years.