Following a two week trial and several hours of deliberations, a Kentucky jury has awarded the family of a deceased nursing home patient $8 million in damages for the errors made related to the care of the patient during an admission in 2008. Categorically, the damages were apportioned: $2 million for pain and suffering, $1 million for violation of the Kentucky Nursing Home Statute and $5 million in punitive damages against the nursing home according to news reports in the Carrier-Journal.
Retired surgeon, Dr. David Griffin was admitted to Treyton Oak Towers in Louisville for care following a disabling stroke left him with impaired mobility. Upon admission, the staff at the nursing home conducted an assessment of Dr. Griffin’s care needs and determined that required him to be transferred in-and-out of wheelchairs with the use of a lift and the assistance of two staff member.
Ignoring the requirements of the care plan relating to safe transfer protocols, one staff member at Treyton Oak Towers apparently attempted to move the patient on their own from a wheelchair to his bed. During the transfer process, the patient was seemingly dropped fracturing both of the patient’s legs.
Rather than seek immediate medical attention for the patient, staff at the facility elected to put Dr. Griffin into his bed— as though the incident never occurred.
The fractures in the patient’s legs went ignored— and completely untreated until he was taken to a nearby hospital where tests confirmed the fractures. Just months after after the incident the patient died from unknown causes.
Cases like this make me proud to see that our civil justice system affords injured parties the opportunity to introduce evidence as to a parties culpability. Further, as we can see from this case, jurors can quickly identify the critical issues in a case like this— even when they need to weed through two weeks of testimony.
For laws related to Kentucky nursing homes, look here.
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