Experience

Pennsylvania nursing home assault case leads to $7.5 verdict against facility

Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Plaintiff: Estate of Dorothy L. Brace
Defendant: Garden Spot Village, Maple Farm Nursing Center and Glenn A. Hershey
Amount: $7.5 million verdict for compensatory damages. Before the punitive damages phase of the trial could begin, the parties settled the matter for $6,750,000.
Alleged Injuries: Negligence,assault, battery, breach of fiduciary duty, and premises liability in a case where a woman was sexually assaulted in an Akron, Pennsylvania, nursing home.

Description: Dorothy L. Brace was a resident of Maple Farm Nursing Center, which is owned by Defendant Garden Spot Village and located at 604 Oak Street in Akron, Pa.  She suffered from dementia and by 2010, her mental condition deteriorated to the point she was deemed unable to consent to romantic or sexual relationships. She relied on the nursing home staff for her daily care and protection.

Defendant Glenn A. Hershey was already a resident at the nursing home when Garden Spot Village purchased Maple Farm in 2009.  However, Maple Farm was aware that he was a Megan’s Law offender based on an offense he committed in 1994 that required him to register as a sex offender for life. The nursing home Defendants failed to take efforts to ensure the staff, the residents, or the residents’ responsible parties were aware of Glenn Hershey’s history, and defended this position saying no law in Pennsylvania required them to do so.

At trial, Maple Farms and Garden Spot claimed that Defendant Hershey’s January 20, 2013, assault on Dorothy was unforeseeable. However, the department heads at Maple Farm had identified Defendant Hershey as a risk to Dorothy because of her dementia almost three years prior. In February of 2010, with the help of the Lancaster County Office of Aging (OOA), the Defendants initiated a care plan to protect Ms. Brace from sexual abuse. The plan required that Glenn Hershey should have limited contact with her and not be permitted to be alone with her.

One night a nurse aide saw Glenn Hershey leaving Dorothy’s room in the middle of the night. The Nursing Home Defendants delayed more than eight hours in calling the police while they conducted their own internal investigation.  Before the police arrived, the Nursing Home Defendants also covered up evidence.  Fortunately, Glenn Hershey confessed to the police.  In 2014, he was convicted of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse and is serving eight to 20 years in prison for his crime.

In the trial against the nursing home, the jury found the facility was reckless and failed to protect Ms. Brace. The $7.5 million award was for Dorothy Brace’s pain and suffering.  Significantly, the jury only allocated 15 percent of the fault to Defendant Hershey, and held the nursing home and its parent company accountable for 85 percent of the fault.  Before the punitive damages phase of the trial could begin, the parties settled the matter for $6,750,000.

For more details, read the original press release here.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Jury awards more than $28 million in Paducah, Kentucky, nursing home lawsuit

Location: McCracken County, Kentucky

Plaintiff: Sarah Ware, as Guardian of Cecil Gary, an Incapacitated Person
Defendant: Preferred Care Partners Management Group, L.P. et. al,
Amount: $28.55 million verdict
Compensatory Damages: $3,550,000
Punitive Damages: $25,000,000
Alleged Injuries: Negligence and violation of Long Term Care Resident's Rights in a case where a man suffered fractures, dehydration and malnutrition in a Paducah, Kentucky, nursing home.

Description: Cecil Gary, 61, was a resident at McCracken Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 867 McGuire Avenue in Paducah, from July 2012 until February 2014. Mr. Gary needed skilled care after suffering a major stroke that left him paralyzed on one side. He had difficulty swallowing and had already endured a left leg amputation. He relied on the staff at McCracken Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for all of his daily needs.

Instead, subsequent to a Texas conglomerate acquiring the ownership and operations of the nursing home in 2012, Mr. Gary endured multiple hospitalizations, and suffered, among other injuries: a right hip fracture; severe dehydration; and malnutrition. On one occasion the staff refused for hours to send him to the hospital despite the fact he was vomiting and in severe abdominal pain for more than 24 hours. A social services director testified at trial that the facility had an unwritten policy of keeping residents in bed even if they knew the residents should have been transported to the hospital because they didn’t want to lose Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for them.

When Mr. Gary finally got to the hospital, he was in cardiogenic shock, hypovolemic shock, acute renal failure, and they believed he was having an acute heart attack. He was found to be suffering from “profound and severe dehydration,” according to the hospital physician’s notes, and provided more than 28 liters of fluid over one week.

On another occasion, Mr. Gary fell out of bed while a certified nursing assistant was trying to clean him by herself. After the fall, Mr. Gary suffered painful hip and femur fractures. Testimony at trial revealed that nursing home officials lied to the state by not acknowledging any wrongdoing at the time of the fall and stating that the neglect was “unsubstantiated,” yet their internal quality assurance committee verified neglect. 

To learn more, read the original press release here.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Woman suffers fractured pelvis in Florida ALF

Location: Brevard County, Florida

Plaintiff: A 92-year-old woman
Defendant: An assisted living facility and its administrator
Amount: Confidential
Alleged Injuries:  Non-lethal negligence in a case where a woman suffered painful a fracture at an ALF

Description: The woman suffered falls with a head injury and ultimately a fractured right superior and inferior pubic ramus at the facility. The injuries caused her severe pain and suffering. The defendants failed to provide adequate supervision to protect the plaintiff from falling. They also failed to monitor significant signs and symptoms of change in her condition and to adequately respond to them.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Man suffers eight falls, serious bedsore at Florida ALF

Location: Manatee County, Florida

Plaintiff: An 87-year-old man
Defendant: An assisted living facility, its executive director and administrator
Amount: Confidential
Alleged Injuries:  Non-lethal negligence, lethal negligence and wrongful death in the case of a man who suffered eight falls and multiple trips to the ER while he lived at the facility

Description: A man who moved into an assisted living facility because he needed help managing on his own after his wife passed away ended up with three visits to the ER and one longer hospitalization. His injuries included numerous skin tears, a Stage II coccyx ulcer, dehydration, infections and eight falls.

The facility and its staff failed to provide a safe environment for the plaintiff and to prevent him from developing decubitus ulcers. They also failed to provide adequate hygiene and to respond to his dehydration appropriately. As a result, he suffered pain and disability before his death.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Woman given wrong medication, dies at Florida assisted living facility

Location: Marion County, Florida

Plaintiff: A 100-year-old woman
Defendant: An assisted living facility and its administrator
Amount: Confidential
Alleged Injuries:  Non-lethal negligence, lethal negligence and wrongful death in a case where a woman died after being given the wrong medication

Description: The plaintiff moved into the assisted living facility because she needed help taking her medications. Two days after moving in, the plaintiff was found unconscious in the dining room. EMS arrived and was told she was given the wrong resident’s medications. She was taken to the hospital and given fluids and epinephrine but never recovered enough to return to the ALF. She passed away at hospice nine days later.

The defendants failed to properly hire and supervise employees and ensure that licensed nurses exercised professional care. They also failed to prescribe and administer proper medication to the plaintiff, among other failures.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Broken hip at Florida assisted living facility leads to death

Location: Marion County, Florida

Plaintiff: A 92-year-old woman
Defendant: An assisted living facility and its administrator
Date: 12/22/2015
Amount: Confidential
Alleged Injuries:  Non-lethal negligence, lethal negligence and wrongful death in a case where an assisted living facility resident suffered a broken hip and died a month later

Description: The plaintiff suffered from urinary tract infections, pneumonia, falls and a hip fracture that required total hip replacement surgery while a resident at the assisted living facility.  The defendants failed to properly hire, retain and supervise employees and to ensure they exercised care consistent with professional standards. They also failed to keep the plaintiff safe and prevent her from falling. As a result, she suffered extreme pain and medical expenses before passing away at hospice.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Woman endures serious injuries, infections at Florida ALF

Location: Hillsborough County

Plaintiff: An 84-year-old woman
Defendant: An assisted living facility and its administrator
Amount: Confidential
Alleged Injuries:  Non-lethal negligence, lethal negligence and wrongful death in a case where a woman suffered serious injuries and infections at an ALF

Description: The plaintiff suffered pressure sores, falls, dehydration and malnutrition despite having a feeding tube, and infections such as MRSA (an antibiotic-resistant bacteria) and cellulitis (a life-threatening skin infection), while living at the ALF. The defendants failed to monitor significant signs and symptoms of change in the plaintiff’s condition and to adequately respond. They also endangered residents, including the plaintiff, by failing to use reasonable care in accepting and keeping residents based on desired payer sources, coupled with high acuity and rehabilitation needs, which allow for higher billing without regard to whether the staff could meet the residents’ needs. The Defendants further endangered residents by failing to adjust staffing levels to meet the needs of the residents, including the plaintiff.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Victim of neglect at ALF choked to death at facility

Location: Pasco County, Florida

Plaintiff: A 76-year-old woman
Defendant: An assisted living facility and its administrator
Amount: Confidential
Alleged Injuries:  Non-lethal negligence, lethal negligence and wrongful death in a case where a woman choked to death

Description: After two months in the assisted living facility, the plaintiff suffered from a fall with injury, urinary tract infections and aspiration pneumonia. Later, she choked while eating and died. The defendants failed to assess, recognize and respond to risks of aspiration/choking in a resident with a known diagnosis and history of dysphagia and swallowing difficulty. They also failed to provide timely assistance from trained emergency response personnel in a life threatening situation.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

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