A Circuit Court jury in Lexington, Kentucky entered a verdict requiring Cambridge Place Nursing Home to pay more than $1 million to a resident who was neglected and severely injured in an equipment storage room. Irene Hendrix was in her late 80’s and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when she had to be hospitalized due to the injuries she suffered. The doctors found that she suffered broken facial bones and bleeding in her brain.
The suit for abuse and neglect by the nursing home was brought by Hendrix’s daughter and her guardian against the owner of the nursing home and the management company. The nursing home denied negligence in the case but, after deliberating for about two hours, the jury awarded Hendrix $1 million for pain and suffering and awarded more than $27,000 for her medical costs.
Before the trial, investigations were conducted by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office. A state adult-protection worker found that Hendrix had been subjected to caretaker neglect, but the attorney general’s office determined that the injuries were caused by an accidental fall.
Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have repeatedly seen the devastating injuries nursing home and long-term care residents can suffer as a result of abuse or neglect by the staff, attendants or medical providers to whom they have entrusted their care. Due to the vulnerability of nursing home residents, Kentucky has enacted statutes aimed at protecting them from nursing home abuse and neglect. Kentucky law requires that, except in emergencies or except in limited circumstances justified in writing by a physician, residents must be free from any type of abuse including mental and physical abuse, and free from chemical and physical restraints.
As the jury found in the case against Cambridge Place Nursing Home, companies that operate nursing homes and long-term care facilities must ensure that their employees provide residents with proper and necessary care and that they do not harm residents. If they fail in that duty, Kentucky law requires that they must be held accountable. When residents have suffered from abuse or neglect, Kentucky’s Nursing Home Residents Bill of Rights guarantees that residents can bring suit against the responsible facility for violation of the resident’s rights and, if successful, residents can recover actual and punitive damages as well as attorney’s fees and the costs of the lawsuit.
Residents or their loved ones should contact an experienced attorney at Varellas & Varellas if any of the following types of neglect is suspected:
Pressure sores or bed sores
- Falls, fractures or head injuries
- Lack of care for existing medical problems
- Failure to follow doctor’s orders or over medication
- Unsanitary and unclean conditions
- Unexpected or unexplained death
- Instances of wandering
Signs of abuse that are cause for alarm and indicate the need to investigate the care and treatment of the resident include:
- Intentional infliction of injury
- Signs of being restrained
- Unreasonable physical restraint or seclusion
- Sexual assault
- Assault of any kind including hitting, scratching, or shoving
- Bruises, cuts or open wounds
- Force feeding
Kentucky law strictly limits the time period during which you can file a lawsuit, so it is imperative that you contact a lawyer as soon as abuse or neglect is suspected. Early contact with an attorney is important since it takes time to investigate the circumstances of a case in order to determine if grounds exist for filing a lawsuit.
For help enforcing the rights granted to nursing home residents by the Kentucky legislature, contact the personal injury attorneys at Varellas & Varellas if you or your loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect as a resident in a nursing home. There is also valuable information available to you on the internet regarding nursing homes and long-term facilities in Kentucky. To search and analyze the details of recent nursing home inspections in all states, visit Nursing Home Inspect. You can review information gathered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for long-term care facilities in Kentucky at Nursing Home Survey Inspection Findings. Also, Nursing Home Compare provides data about facilities in Kentucky and comparisons of the facilities.