Friday, August 12, 2011

Care home's neglect was fatal, lawyers argue 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Workers in an understaffed Charleston nursing home failed to properly care for an 87-year-old woman who had stayed there for about three weeks before dying of dehydration, lawyers for the woman's son said during the first day of a civil trial Tuesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
Too few nurses were on staff in Heartland of Charleston to make sure Dorothy Douglas, who suffered from dementia and Alzheimer's, was eating food and drinking water, lawyers for her son Tom told a jury.
In September 2009, Tom Douglas checked his mother into the Heartland home temporarily until a bed opened up at Heritage Center, a Huntington nursing home that is better suited for caring for Alzheimer's patients, Douglas' lawyer told jurors Tuesday afternoon.
Dorothy Douglas died in Cabell Huntington Hospital on Sept. 24, a day after her transfer to the new home.
When she arrived at Heritage Center after three weeks at Heartland, she was covered in bruises, sores and scars in various stages of healing, Quezan said. Crud caked the elderly woman's mouth and she did not respond to her name, sounds or pain.
"You will find that the reason," Quezan said, "is that she was literally dying of thirst."
Care home's neglect was fatal, lawyers argue - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Massachusetts Guide to Stopping Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Available

Hamill Law Office of Quincy, MA. announces that they have produced a Free Advocacy Guide for Massachusetts victims of Nursing Home abuse who are still in Nursing Home Care.

this free Guide will show you how to immediately halt elder abuse:

 Learn the best ways to approach the problem of abuse or
neglect that is occurring while your loved one is still in the Nursing Home
 Learn the best “in-house” methods for stopping neglect
 Learn powerful and immediate tools to stop abuse.
 The Five best ways to report neglect.
 The “Magic Number” to call in an emergency
 Nine ways to deal with poor treatment.

Hamill Law Group
Advocates for Elder Nursing Home Victims
36 Miller Stile Rd.
Quincy, MA. 02169
(617) 479-4300

Care home providers at the centre of abuse scandal close a second property

A second care home owned by the company at the centre of allegations of abuse of vulnerable patients is to close, it was announced on Wednesday.

Castlebeck, which owned the Winterbourne View care home in Bristol where abuse was filmed by an undercover BBC journalist for Panorama, has said it will close Rose Villa, also in Bristol.
Four members of Rose Villa's staff were suspended last month following an inspection by regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) while allegations of misconduct were investigated. But Castlebeck today said it was closing the rehabilitation centre for adults with learning disabilities, which has five patients and 30 staff, for "operational reasons".
Winterbourne View, which saw 13 staff members suspended over allegations of abuse, closed in June.
Castlebeck's chief executive, Lee Reed, the company was closing the site "with regret".
"The service is being closed purely for operational reasons," he said. "Whilst we recognise the concerns raised in the recent CQC inspection report, our decision has resulted from the fact that in reviewing operational practicalities, Rose Villa would be left on its own in the South West - some distance from the support that could be provided by our services in the West Midlands.
"The decision is purely voluntary and not at the instigation of CQC.

Care home providers at the centre of abuse scandal close a second property Society

Carlyle Nursing Unit to Appeal $91.5 Million Medical Negligence Verdict

"The Carlyle Group nursing home subsidiary, HCR ManorCare Inc., will appeal a $91.5 million verdict awarded to a man whose mother spent 20 days in a nursing home before dying in a hospital.

Dorothy Douglas of Barboursville, West Virginia, suffered dehydration and renal failure before dying, her son Tom Douglas claimed in his 2009 lawsuit filed in state court in Charleston, West Virginia. Dorothy Douglas, 87, suffered from dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
The jury on Aug. 5 found that Manor Care Inc., the unit owned by HCR ManorCare, was medically negligent in its care, according to the jury verdict form.
Douglas’s lawyers said the Charleston nursing home was understaffed and the home’s administrators knew it.
“Although the incident in question occurred two years ago, we feel that the center and staff acted appropriately in providing the proper care for this resident,” HCR ManorCare said in an e-mailed statement. “In addition we believe this center was staffed above the state requirements at the time in question.”
Carlyle Nursing Unit to Appeal $91.5 Million Medical Negligence Verdict - Bloomberg

Monday, August 08, 2011

Heartland must pay $91.5M in fatal neglect case - West Virginia

"A Kanawha County jury on Friday awarded an elderly woman's family $91.5 million in damages from a Charleston nursing home, after finding that nursing home workers indirectly caused the woman's death.

After a trial that lasted nearly two weeks in front of Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr., jurors found that workers at Heartland of Charleston, located at 3819 Chesterfield Ave., failed to feed and care for Dorothy Douglas, who stayed at the home for about three weeks in 2009 before dying at age 87. Lawyers for Douglas' son say she died from dehydration complications.

After closing arguments Friday morning, jurors deliberated for about two hours before returning their verdict and awarding $80 million in punitive damages and $11.5 million in compensatory damages.
In September 2009, Tom Douglas took his mother to Heartland of Charleston while waiting for space to open in another nursing home. Dorothy Douglas suffered from Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's disease and several other conditions, Douglas' lawyers, Lance Reins and Amy Quezan, told the jury during the trial.

They said that while living with her son, Dorothy Douglas' health had improved to the point where she could walk, speak and recognize family members.  After checking his mother into Heartland, Tom Douglas said, he discovered that the staffers had labeled her a fall risk and confined her to a wheelchair.

By the time she was transferred to the Heritage Center nursing home in Huntington three weeks later, she was unresponsive, she had lost 15 pounds and severe dehydration had driven her to the brink of death, Douglas' lawyers said.

She died at Cabell Huntington Hospital on Sept. 24, a day after her transfer.
Reins told jurors during closing arguments Friday that Heartland did not have enough nurses on staff to care for the woman. Several former Heartland workers testified during the trial that properly caring for all of the residents was impossible.

In 2009, the nursing home reported an employee turnover rate of 112 percent, according to Reins.
"They were losing more people because they weren't even staying through orientation when they saw the conditions," he told the jury."

Heartland must pay $91.5M in fatal neglect case - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -