Sample Verdicts & Lawsuits Against National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) Nursing Homes

National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) is one of the nation’s largest nursing home chain, operating in ten different states in the Southeast region. As of December 2015, the chain operated 74 nursing homes. The company also owns additional long-term and assisted living facilities that it leases to others. The company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It website is https://nhccare.com/.

National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) reports revenues just shy of $1 billion annually. The nursing home makes approximately $59 million in profits from its facilities. While the company has been profitable for its shareholders, as evidenced by the fact that the share price has increased nearly twenty-fold this century, the residents have not had the same rewarding experience with the chain.

Inspection Safety Concerns Noted at National Healthcare Corporation (NHC)

National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) facilities frequently receive low ratings on their annual inspections. Medicare assigns quality ratings to each skilled nursing facility based on the results of the inspection. For example, National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) has four facilities in Missouri. Three of these facilities have received a one-star rating, which the lowest possible score that a nursing home can receive. Its nursing homes have been fined 12 times since 2000, paying a total of approximately $884,000 in penalties. In addition, the chai had to pay $27 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit for improper Medicare billing.

The quality of care at National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) facilities has long been an issue. The company faced a lawsuit back in 2000 alleging that the corporation failed to provide a minimum basic level of care at one of its facilities. The lawsuit alleged that the residents suffered inhumane conditions at the facility due to the nursing home’s chronic lack of staffing. The lawsuit alleged a host of violations of federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to nursing homes.

National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) has been attempting to inoculate itself from liability by pushing hard for changes in law at the state level to protect itself from large jury verdicts. For example, the company tried in Tennessee and Florida to place a cap on non-economic damages that it could be required to pay if it was found liable. However, the Florida Supreme Court struck down damage caps as unconstitutional. The company also routinely tries to pressure residents into signing agreements to arbitrate claims against the nursing home when they are admitted to the facility. National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) also is a large political donor to officials on the state level as it seeks changes to the law to advance its interests.

National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) is a frequent defendant in lawsuits relating to the care that is provided in its nursing homes. Since National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) is a publicly traded corporation, its financial filings can reveal some of the full picture. For example, it its 2017 annual report to shareholders, the company stated that it was a defendant in approximately 60 lawsuits. That same report stated that the company had experienced an increase in litigation in line with an overall increase in the industry.

The company has had several large verdicts against it as well as large settlements that resulted from a fatal fire. Some of the cases involve:

  • Lawsuits about pressure ulcers
  • Lawsuits about inadequate care for falls
  • Lawsuits about fatal fires at a facility

Several of these cases involved a large amount of punitive damages assessed to National Healthcare Corporation (NHC). This usually results when there is egregious behavior that a jury feels that it must address through increasing the award to the plaintiff. This usually happens when there is a shocking fact pattern that is evidence of misconduct.

Here are some of the verdicts and settlements resulting from lawsuits against National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) Lawsuits Against National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) for Falls

2007 - Jury Verdict ($29.8 million) in Tennessee – The resident’s family alleged that the resident suffered multiple injuries while at the facility due to the negligence of staff. The resident fell, but staff did not order x-rays for seven days after the fall. The staff even tried to make him walk during that time. When x-rays were finally ordered, they revealed that the resident had suffered a broken hip. The resident also suffered from pressure ulcers and various other infections that resulted from a lack of hygienic care by the facility. The jury awarded nearly $30 million, but after the judge threw out most punitive damages, the verdict was reduced to just over $4 million. However, on appeal, the punitive damages were reinstated, making for one of the largest verdicts against a nursing home.

2002 – Jury Verdict ($80,000) in Florida – The resident was admitted to a nursing care facility with a variety of conditions. The resident was assessed to be at risk for falls. Notwithstanding that assessment, the resident was found several weeks later with multiple injuries that were consistent with a pattern of falls.

Lawsuits Against National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) for Pressure Ulcers

1999 – Jury Verdict ($6.62 million) in Florida – The resident was an 89-year old woman who developed a severe infection from a pressure sore that had gone all the way to the bone. After the sore became gangrenous, the resident was required to undergo an amputation of the leg. In addition, the lawsuit alleged that the resident was severely malnourished which resulted in a significant weight loss, although the facility argued that it was the fault of the family, who they claimed decided to withhold feeding from the resident. The nursing home was accused of failing to properly train its staff to care for the patient wand prevent mental and physical abuse. The nursing home settled for an amount higher than the jury verdict before the trial reached the punitive damages phase.

2003 – Settlement ($160,000) in South Carolina – The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home was negligent in two primary areas. First, the home allegedly failed to prevent and treat pressure ulcers which resulted in an amputation of the resident’s leg. Second, the failed to inform the family of the need for a feeding tube and the resident ultimately suffered malnutrition.

2017 – Lawsuit Filed in South Carolina – The resident was admitted to the nursing home with unstageable pressure ulcers. The condition grew worse over the month and half that the resident was at the nursing home. The resident was re-admitted to the hospital where the infections from the pressure ulcers were a contributing cause to death. The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home did not give the resident the proper treatment for pressure ulcers. For more information on South Carolina laws, look here.

Lawsuit Against National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) for a Fatal Fire

2003 - Settlements (various amounts) in Tennessee – A fire broke out on the second floor of an National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) facility in Tennessee. 17 residents perished in the fire and another 20 were injured. There were a total of 32 lawsuits that were filed against National Healthcare Corporation (NHC). 30 of these were settled in mediation.

Concerned About a Family Member at an National Healthcare Corporation (NHC) Nursing Home?

The attorneys from the Nursing Home Law Center have years of experience in dealing with nursing home chains such as National Healthcare Corporation (NHC). We have seen large nursing home chains cut back on staffing in order to maximize profits and, when it injures your loved one, we will not stand for it. Instead, we know how to take aggressive legal action to protect your family’s legal interests. We know how to fight hard on your behalf against the high-priced lawyers that the nursing homes retain to try to avoid any kind of legal liability. Call us today at (800) 726-9565 to see how we can help your loved one and your family. We have experience in many different kinds are of areas that relate to nursing home negligence, abuse and mistreatment. Find out how we can help you file a lawsuit against the nursing home where your loved one has been injured.

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