Jury awards family $91.5 million for nursing home neglect

August 11, 2011
By Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC on August 11, 2011 10:33 AM |

A Kanawha County, West Virginia jury awarded an 87-year old woman's family $91.5 million after finding that low staffing levels at a nursing home led to her death.

Our Maryland nursing home neglect attorneys have substantial experience in representing Plaintiff's who have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of nursing home negligence.

The substantial verdict was delivered after a two-week trial where Plaintiffs alleged that workers at Heartland of Charleston (W.V.) failed to feed and care for Dorothy Davis, who died of complications from dehydration after a three week stay at the facility.

The jury deliberated for two hours before awarding $11.5 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages.

The testimony reflected that in the three week period Davis stayed at Heartland, she lost 15 pounds, she became unresponsive and suffered severe dehydration. She died one day after her transfer to a different hospital.

Plaintiffs alleged that Heartland lacked sufficient nurses on staff to care for the woman, which was supported by the testimony of former Heartland employees. In 2009, the nursing home had an employee turnover rate of 112 percent.

Heartland is owned by a parent corporation called Manorcare that has assets of $8 billion.

The nursing home defended on the grounds that the woman's death certificate states that she died of Alzheimer's, not dehydration and that staff did not breach the standard of care in the treatment of the woman.

Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that owns Manorcare, stated that it will appeal the verdict.

Should you or a loved one suffer an injury due to the negligence of nursing home or hospital, contact the Brassel, Alexander & Rice for a free consultation.