The family of Joseph Clint Offutt who died after nine days in Harborside of Madisonville nursing home in Kentucky has been compensated with a $42.75 million verdict. 92-year-old Offutt died because the staff neglected him. Offutt suffered severe dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores and infections, all of which led to his death in April 2008. Offutt was a World War II veteran who was still planting crops at age 88. After a stroke in 2007, his wife of 58 years, Pearline, cared for him at home for eight months before he needed professional care. The facility is now known as the Hillside Villa Care and Rehabilitation Center.
“Offutt became lethally dehydrated despite having a feeding tube…. The facility simply failed to ensure he got enough water to live,” quoted Kentucky.com. Adult Protective Services officials of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services backed of the neglect.
Court documents confirm that the jury awarded $1 million for Offutt’s pain and suffering, $1.75 million for his wife’s loss, and $40 million for punitive damages, said Kentucky.com.
Offutt was at the nursing home from March 25 to April 3, 2008. He was transferred to a regional medical center and died April 5, 2008, Circeo said.
Offutt’s family filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2009 against the nursing home and Sunbridge Healthcare Corp., which owns it. The trial lasted three weeks.