$28.5 Million Jury Verdict for Nursing Home’s Failure to Timely Transfer Resident to Hospital

Cecil Gary, a 60-year-old resident of the McCracken Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, had a history of stroke and was also an amputee.  Although he had limitations in caring for himself, he was aware of his surroundings and generally enjoyed his life.

As a resident of this nursing home, he experienced eight different episodes of dehydration and later developed nausea and severe pain. In this particular incident, the nursing home staff left him in bed, in distress, for about 27 hours before calling paramedics to transfer him to a local hospital. When he was transferred, he was diagnosed as being severely dehydrated and in hypovolemic shock and acute kidney failure.

At the hospital, he received 27 liters of fluid before sending him back to the nursing home. Once he was back at McCracken Nursing and Rehabilitation, he fell, breaking his hip in three places. Gary was not a candidate for hip surgery given his medical condition.

Through his guardian, he filed suit against the nursing home’s owner alleging negligence in violation of the state’s resident’s rights law for choosing not to timely transfer him to a hospital when staff knew or should have known of his acute medical condition and failed to provide adequate hydration.

Gary, through his guardian, maintained that the defendant nursing home and its ownership had a policy of non-transfer of residents to hospitals for reimbursement purposes and that its nurses chose not to note Gary’s dehydration in his records or provide him with sufficient water.

Gary’s guardian also argued that the nursing home chose not to notify his family of the dehydration episode preceding his hospitalization.

The jury, which took this matter very seriously, signaled by its verdict in favor of Gary for $28.5 million, which included $25 million in punitive damages for the willful and wanton conduct of the nursing home, its personnel and its ownership in the handling of his treatment.

The attorneys successfully handling this case were Ross Mann and Carl Willander.

Ware v. Paducah Health Facilities, L.P., No. 14-CI-00647 (KY Court, McCracken County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home negligence cases, nursing home injury lawsuits, wrongful death cases and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Wheaton, Waukegan, Joliet, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Elgin, Aurora, St. Charles, Geneva, Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove, Glenview, Northfield, Northbrook, Warrenville, Streamwood, Chicago (Ukrainian Village, Lakeview, Back of the Yards, Austin), Homewood, Lincolnshire and Hillside, Ill.

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