$42.75 Million Verdict In Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

In another case of nursing home abuse, a family suing the Harborside of Madisonville has been awarded $42.75, said Kentucky.com. The family alleged that the facility’s neglect let to the death of Joseph Cling Offutt, 92, who stayed at the facility for a mere nine days before his death. The facility is now known as the Hillside Villa Care and Rehabilitation Center.

The Hopkins County jury said that the facility’s neglect led to Mr. Offutt’s death, wrote Kentucky.com, citing court documents. According to plaintiff attorneys, “Offutt became lethally dehydrated despite having a feeding tube…. The facility simply failed to ensure he got enough water to live,” quoted Kentucky.com.

“We feel the size of the verdict is outrageous and totally inappropriate based on the facts presented in the case,” said Carol Britt, administrator of the facility, quoted Kentucky.com. “Not only did we provide quality care to this individual, but the outsized punitive damages assessed against us bear no relation to our conduct. We intend to vigorously challenge the decision through the appeal process,” Britt added.

Offutt’s family alleged that staff at the nursing home neglected him, rendering him malnourished and causing him to experience severe dehydration, bedsores, infections, and death, said Kentuky.com, which also noted that Adult Protective Services officials of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services backed of the neglect. Cabinet spokeswoman Beth Fisher said that cabinet officials are not permitted to comment on cases such as this.

Court documents confirm that the jury awarded $1 million for Offutt’s pain and suffering, $1.75 million for his wife’s loss, and $40 million for punitive damages, said Kentucky.com.

Most recently, we wrote that the owner of the Glencare Home in North Carolina, said five residents there died from hepatitis B. In another case involving a 92-year-old woman, it was discovered that felons are routinely hired to care for the elderly in their homes.

The NewsObserver recently wrote that regulators in North Carolina State issued a recommendation for $20,000 in penalties against Britthaven of Chapel Hill nursing home where a former nurse is accused of patient abuse related to morphine overdoses and, most seriously, murder. The violations are connected to the alleged activities of Angela Almore, a former registered nurse at the facility who was charged with second-degree murder and patient-abuse surrounding Rachel Holliday’s, 84, death. Injuries involving morphine and six other patients are also involved, wrote the News Observer.

According to a medical examiner, Holliday died of pneumonia from asphyxiation; the morphine levels in her body were believed to have contributed to her death, said the News Observer. Of note, none of the patients were prescribed the potent pain reliever.

Help filing claims and other legal assistance for the victims of nursing home abuse is available at www.YourLawyer.com.

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