Due to the vulnerability of nursing home residents, Kentucky has enacted statutes aimed at protecting them from nursing home abuse and neglect. Kentucky law mandates in KRS 216.515 that all residents shall be free from mental and physical abuse, and they must be free from restraints by physical or chemical methods except in emergencies or other specific circumstances specified in writing by a physician.
Kentucky statutes further provide in KRS 216.515 that residents whose statutory rights are deprived or infringed upon shall have a cause of action against the facility responsible for the violation. In a lawsuit brought under the nursing home statutes, the nursing home resident or legal representative can recover actual and punitive damages for denial or infringement of the resident’s rights as well as attorney’s fees and the costs of the lawsuit.
In a suit brought under the Kentucky nursing home statutes, a jury in Louisville awarded an $8 million verdict for nursing home abuse to the estate of a retired surgeon whose sustained broken bones while he was in the care of Treyton Oak Towers. Dr. Griffin’s legs were broken when he was improperly transferred from his chair to his bed and, due to a previous stroke, he was unable to tell anyone about the pain he was suffering. After his legs were broken, the staff put him back in bed and pretended it didn’t happen.
The nursing home initially denied any wrong doing and even tried to cover up the nursing home neglect that eventually led to the patient’s wrongful death less than two months later. There was also evidence presented that the nursing home was understaffed and failed to properly evaluate and train its staff.
The verdict against the nonprofit nursing home was returned after a two-week trial and only two hours of deliberations. Relying on Kentucky law adopted to protect nursing home and long-term care residents, the verdict included $2 million for pain and suffering, $1 million for violating the state nursing home statutes and $5 million in punitive damages.
Families who must entrust their loved ones to the care of the staff and medical providers of a nursing home or long-term care facility rightfully expect that the loved one will be properly care for while in the facility. No one expects that the loved one or family member will be subjected to abuse, but tragically, as the Treyton Oak Towers case shows, neglect or abuse does occur and it can result in serious physical injuries or even death.
Contact Varellas & Varellas to talk with our lawyers if you or your loved one has been abused or neglected while in a nursing home. We can help you enforce the important rights given to Kentucky citizens by the Kentucky legislature. You can also review information gathered by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for long-term care facilities in the Commonwealth by visiting Nursing Home Survey Inspection Findings and you can use Nursing Home Inspect to search and analyze the details of recent nursing home inspections in all states. To review Medicare data about facilities in Kentucky and to compare the facilities, visit Nursing Home Compare at the official U.S. Government site for Medicare.