Nursing Home to Appeal $91.5 Million Negligence and Wrongful Death Settlement

As our Baltimore, Maryland accident lawyer blog recently reported, the family of an elderly nursing home resident whose wrongful death lead to a nursing home abuse and negligence lawsuit, was awarded $91.5 million earlier this month, after a Charleston, West Virginia jury found Heartland of Charleston nursing home and its corporate owners guilty of negligence—a verdict that the nursing home owners are likely to appeal.

According to the lawsuit, in September of 2009, Tom Douglas placed his mother Dorothy, who suffered from dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease among other conditions, in Heartland of Charleston nursing home temporarily—until there was room for her in a nearby facility that specialized in Alzheimer’s disease healthcare and treatment.

Before placing Douglas in the home, her son claimed that his mother had lived with he and his family, experiencing improved health conditions that included walking, speaking and even recognizing her own family members.

Three weeks after Tom Douglas placed his 87-year old mother into the nursing home he reportedly found out that she was confined to a wheelchair, and suffered from malnutrition, and dehydration. By the time she was transferred to Heritage Center, the nursing home specializing in Alzheimer’s Disease healthcare, Douglas was reportedly unresponsive, had lost fifteen pounds and suffered such severe dehydration that she died the following day after her nursing home transfer.

The lawsuit accused the Charleston home of nursing home neglect, by failing to have enough nurses on duty to care for Dorothy Douglas. According to a 2009 nursing home report, the employee turnover rate was at 112 percent, and according to the testimony of former staffers, providing proper care for residents wasn’t possible, given the lack of employees. Douglas’ attorneys accused the nursing home operators of maintaining a business structure of negligence, that kept the number of residents too high in comparison to the number of nurses on staff—in order to provide proper healthcare for the residents.

Although Tom Douglas was awarded $91.5 million, according to the Charleston Gazette, the lawyers for Heartland of Charleston, owned by HCR ManorCare, are gearing up to appeal the case to the state Supreme Court–on the grounds that the large jury award may be subject to West Virginia’s medical malpractice caps.

If a nursing home resident experiences injury or death because of a nursing home’s failure to provide proper healthcare, or maintain the safety of the resident—the home could be held responsible for wrongful death or nursing home negligence. Our Baltimore nursing home negligence attorneys represent negligence or wrongful death victims and their families in the State of Maryland. Contact us today.

Lawyers gear up for appeal in $91.5 million Charleston nursing home case, Charleston Gazette, August 21, 2011
$91.5M Nursing Home Neglect Verdict Awarded to Family of Woman for Her Wrongful Death, Maryland Accident Lawyer Blog, August 9, 2011
Heartland must pay $91.5M in fatal neglect case, Charleston Gazette, August 5, 2011
Carlyle Nursing Unit to Appeal $91.5 Million Medical Negligence Verdict, Bloomberg, August 8, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Institute of Medicine (IOM)

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

Maryland Department of Aging

Related Blog Posts:

Another Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit for Madison County Home, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, April 25, 2011
Resident Dies From Sepsis—Home Sued by Family for Negligence and Wrongful Death, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, July 22, 2011
Daughter Sues Sunny Hill Nursing Home for Wrongful Death, Negligence, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, July 22, 2011
Nursing Home Staff Tries to Initiate Sexual Behavior Between Two Dementia Residents for Amusement, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011
Nursing Home Sued for Wrongful Death After Resident Dies from Sepsis, Dehydration, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, February 7, 2011
Negligence Lawsuit Settlement Reached—Home Sued After Wandering Veteran, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2010

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