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.

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