Lawyer Resources for Tennessee

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tennesseeAn important court decision Tennessee Supreme Court decision helps clarify what is necessary for injured parties to prove their care in a nursing home negligence lawsuit.  The case stems from the lawsuit initiated by Kimberly S. French, the daughter of Martha S. French.  Ms. French brought a wrongful death case against the Stratford House nursing home alleging:

  • Ordinary negligence
  • Negligence per se based on violations of state and federal nursing home regulations
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A grand jury indicted, Douglas Harris, following allegations relating to the financial exploitation ofPicture-213 a mentally disabled resident at the nursing home where he was a social worker.  According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Harris was director of social work at Brookhaven Manor.  During a period between November, 2007 and March, 2008 Harris unlawfully persuaded the resident to give him: a $20,000 check, cash, and a luxury van.

A statement from a TBI spokesman reads, “Harris was employed as the director of social work at Brookhaven nursing home located in Kingsport Tennessee when he obtained property and cash from a resident of the facility who was incapable of making financial decisions.”

The grand jury indicted Harris on the criminal charges related to his financial exploitation of July 14th and he was arrested shortly thereafter by authorities.  Currently, Harris is free on bond and has an arraignment set for September 11th in Sullivan County Criminal Court.

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Tennessee Department of Heath officials have suspended new  resident admissions at the Pigeon Forge CarePicture-131 and Rehabilitation Center.  The suspension of new admissions follows the identification of problems related to the facilities administration, performance and resident rights observed during an inspection of the nursing home between April 20 and May 11.

In addition to the suspension on new admissions, Tennessee officials imposed a $3,000 fine and recommended a daily fine of $4,550 until the conditions are corrected.  A monitor has been assigned to the facility to keep track of the nursing home’s progress.  In addition, a copy of the order prohibiting new admissions has been posted on the door to the facility.  Read more about this Tennessee nursing home here.

Pigeon Forge Nursing Home is a 120-bed facility and has been licensed since 1992.  According to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the facility rates two stars out of five in terms of overall quality.  In 2008 nursing home inspectors found violations in reporting changes in residents’ physical or mental health to family members and doctors; helping residents with eating, drinking, grooming and hygiene when necessary; staffing; and making sure that the nursing home area is free of potential accident-causing dangers, among other citations.

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Tennessee Nursing Home Death As HomicideLabels frequently get tossed around when describing nursing home lawsuits.  Admittedly, some of these descriptors such as ‘abuse’ or ‘neglect’ get overused by people who may have a ‘vested interest’ in the matter– family members, friends and attorneys.  When an independent investigator applies ‘neglect’ to his findings, more people should take notice.

“Nursing home neglect”resulting in dehydration is what a Tennessee Medical Examiner ruled as the cause of death following the autopsy performed on 46-year-old Linda Carter.  Carter died on March 27th at the at the University of Tennessee Medical Center following a nine day admission to Hillcrest North Nursing Home.  Carter was admitted to Hillcrest for rehabilitation from injuries sustained in a car accident.

When Knox County Medical Examiner,  Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, examined Carter’s body he noted the following visible signs of dehydration:

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