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Kindred Nursing Home Sample Negligence Verdicts & Lawsuits
Kindred Healthcare is a large-scale operator of health-related facilities in the United States. It operates hospitals, hospices, home health care facilities, and until 2017, it operated nursing home. In 2017, Kindred sold its nursing home operations to Blue Mountain Capital Management. The company is now operated under the Blue Mountain name. This description of the chain will include the legal and regulatory history of the Kindred chain since these nursing homes still exist, albeit under new ownership.
Kindred Healthcare at a Glance
|Headquarters||680 South Fourth St|
Louisville, KY 40202
|Type of Care|
|Transitional Care Hospitals|
Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals
Contract Rehabilitation Services
Kindred sold 89 nursing homes to Blue Mountain in the transaction. These nursing homes have approximately 11,000 beds. Blue Mountain paid $700 million to acquire these nursing homes. The hope is that the new ownership will improve the level of care that is provided at these facilities given the track record that they compiled when under Kindred’s ownership. When the nursing home chain was under Kindred’s control, they were regularly the defendants in both civil and regulatory actions.
Kindred’s nursing homes were fined 17 different times dating back to 2000. This means that roughly one in five nursing homes had a violation severe enough that the federal government chose to take action. Kindred’s actions were actually the basis for one of the more consequential legal proceedings involving a nursing home that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
Use of Arbitration Agreements to Limit Litigation
The company attempted to limit the rights of residents and their families to file claims against the company in court by incorporating an arbitration agreement in admission paperwork. Kindred Healthcare Inc. included an arbitration clause in the contract that each family signs that required any claims against the facility to be filed in arbitration. Kindred also entered into a large settlement agreement with the federal government for violations of the False Claims Act.
Episodes of Safety Concerns at Kindred Blue Mountain Skilled Nursing Homes
The chain has faced a number of lawsuits that have accused it of various failures in resident care that have led to injuries and other harms. Like most nursing homes, the prevalent cause of lawsuits against Kindred came from the families of residents who died from complications relating to pressure ulcers. There have always been lawsuits against Kindred arising from circumstances that resulted from understaffing of the facility. Lawsuits against Kindred have been filed and settled in some of the following areas:
- Failure to prevent and treat pressure sores
- Sexual abuse of residents
- Negligence of the staff causing injuries
- Failure to compile and follow a treatment plan
Lawsuits Against Kindred for Pressure Ulcers
Settlement ($375,000) in California – Kindred was one of three nursing homes sued in this action. The resident suffered from a spinal cord injury and was at two previous nursing homes, neither of which positioned the resident the proper way or treated the pressure ulcers that he developed as a result. When he arrived at the Kindred facility, staff there also allegedly neglected his condition and did not properly treat his pressure ulcers. The plaintiff died from his condition and Kindred was responsible for $50,000 of the settlement.
Settlement ($1,000,000) in California – The resident had dementia and was staying at the facility for short-term rehabilitative purposes. Over the course of the 79 days that the resident was at the facility, she developed five severe pressure ulcers that became significantly infected to the point where the resident’s bones were exposed. The lawsuit also claimed that the resident was neglected and was not given any therapy to the point where the resident spent all of her time curled up in a fetal ball. The resident lost 26 pounds over her stay and died from her infections. The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home was chronically understaffed.
Jury Verdict ($1,250,000) in Georgia – The resident was admitted to a Kindred facility and was a risk for skin breakdown. The state court lawsuit claimed that he was not adequately monitored for new pressure ulcers and developed a Stage IV pressure ulcer as a result. The plaintiff’s family alleged that the nursing home also did not properly treat the ulcer once it developed and should have transferred him to a facility that could have given him treatment if the nursing home could not. This is a fairly high jury verdict a case where the pressure ulcer contributed to a worsening of a resident’s health condition as opposed to being the primary cause of death.
Settlement ($50,000) in Illinois – The decedent was a 43-year old man who developed pressure ulcers that became infected, causing his death. The lawsuit claimed that the resident was neglected and left without adequate supervision and care in that the facility did not perform the necessary skin checks, nor did they treat his pressure ulcers once they developed.
Lawsuit Filed in New Hampshire – The resident’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit after the resident died from infections stemming from pressure ulcers. The family claimed that the facility was too understaffed to give the resident the proper treatment.
Lawsuits Against Kindred for Sexual Assault
Jury Verdict ($2,014,000) in Massachusetts – The resident was a 90-year old woman who was suffering from dementia. The lawsuit claimed that she sexually assaulted by a CNA who was helping her use the bathroom resulting in a bruised right labia with swelling, vaginal wall abrasions, and vaginal bleeding. The facility allegedly did not notify the family of the claimed assault nor did it report the accusation to the state as it was required. The plaintiff claimed that the facility did not take the proper hiring in its hiring or the supervision of the facility in violation of federal regulations. Although the nursing home denied liability and claimed that the woman’s injuries could have been self-inflicted, the trial court found it liable for the woman’s injuries
Lawsuit Against Kindred for Negligence
2010 – Jury Verdict ($503,845) in Massachusetts – The resident was a 93-year old man who was admitted to the rehabilitation center following a stroke. During a transfer between his bed and a chair, the man was struck in the eye by a hook, suffering an injury in the process. The resident eventually resulted in enucleation and complications of sepsis. The resident died from sepsis. The lawsuit claimed that the resident needed two staff members, but the transfer was done by one staff member acting alone. The nursing home agreed that the transfer was not done properly, but that the failure to follow protocol did not cause the man’s death.
2017 – Jury Verdict ($4.4 million) in Ohio – The resident died after an injury sustained when she fell out bed while being repositioned by a CNA. The resident had a weakened midsection from a stroke and the momentum, when she was turned by the CNA, caused her to fall on the floor. This was the second time that the resident had fallen while being turned in her bed. The family had requested that two CNAs reposition her in the bed, but this maneuver was executed by one CNA. In addition, there were multiple errors in care and the resident developed pressure ulcers. $3 million of the verdict was punitive damages against the nursing home, which the jury assesses when they believe that the nursing home’s conduct was egregious.
Lawsuit Against Kindred for Failure to Provide Treatment
2004 –Settlement (Confidential) in Texas – Kindred nursing centers provided services to the resident pursuant to a V.A. contract. When a resident is admitted to a nursing home, there is an obligation for the facility to compile a treatment plan for the care. Here, the plan stated that constipation was a risk and that the resident should be given medications and monitoring of bowel movements. When the resident died, an autopsy revealed that there was massive dilation of the stomach and distention of the bowel, indicating that constipation played a role in the cause of death. Making this notable is that some of the resident’s treatment records were either lost or destroyed, making them unavailable to be used in U.S. District Court..
Lawsuit Against Kindred for Lack of Staff
2006 – Settlement ($8.25 million) in California – Many nursing homes are sued in California since they fail to comply with the state’s minimum staffing regulations. These lawsuits are brought as a class action on behalf of all residents of these facilities. Here, Kindred did not have the required 3.2 hours of day of staff time for each resident and settled the class action.
Concerned About a Family Member at a Kindred Blue Mountain Nursing Home?
The Nursing Home Law Center has filed and litigated many of these types of cases on behalf of families whose loved ones have suffered harm at skilled nursing facilities. We have developed an expertise in dealing with nursing homes such as Kindred when they fail to uphold the standard of care that they owe to your loved one who has resided at these homes. Many of the above cases show that a nursing home will fight hard to make sure that they do not have to pay your claim. However, with an experienced lawyer on your side, you and your family can fight back. Call us today at (800) 726-9565 to find out how we can help you as you seek to get justice from the nursing home where your loved one was injured or mistreated.