Multimillion verdict against Life Care thrown out (09/26/08 Cleveland Banner) By Linda Womack
Life Care Centers of America was given another trial when an $11.5 million verdict was thrown out. The nursing home was found to have been negligent and reckless in the death of a former resident. Former Circuit Court Judge Ginger Wilson Buchanan was the judge. Buchanan did not offer a reason on why the original verdict was set aside.
A Bradley County Circuit Court jury awarded the multi-million verdict in compensatory and punitive damages as a result of the June trial. Dennis Matthews, son of Verdie Matthews a former Life Care resident, filed a lawsuit against Life Care Centers of America alleging the nursing home allowed his mother to develop severe dehydration and severe malnutrition which ultimately played a role in her death. The jury found Life Care Centers acted negligent and reckless in a three week trial in June.
Ms. Matthews was a resident at the nursing home for four weeks when she was admitted to the Bradley Memorial Hospital on May 1, 2006. She died three days later. Her cause of death was determined by the hospital to be severe nutrition and severe dehydration.
Medical records indicated at the time of Ms. Matthews admission to the nursing home her weight was reportedly 105 pounds. At the time of her death, four weeks later, she reportedly weighed 92 pounds. Throughout the trial Mr. Matthews’ attorney, Thomas Hornbuckle, argued the nursing home falsified fluid and nutrition intake records for Ms. Matthews and did not properly feed and hydrate her.