The Tampa Bay Times reported that for the third time in two years, the law firm of Wilkes & McHugh has won a nursing home verdict against THI entities, the predecessor of Fundamental Long Term Care Holdings. In 2010, a Polk County jury awarded $114 million in a nursing home resident’s death. Then, a Pinellas County jury awarded $200 million after a woman in a wheelchair toppled to her death in a stairwell. Now, a Gainesville jury handed down a $900 million verdict, including $700 million in punitive damages — half again more than Wilkes & McHugh had even asked for.
"What is drawing so much outrage from juries is unrebutted testimony that the controlling interests behind these companies were hedge funds and banks that allegedly siphoned money out of nursing home operations by cutting staff, loading up on debt, letting care decline and shuffling funds between corporations to buffer them from lawsuits."
"We are showing the sums of money being looted,” James Wilkes said. "We think total profits were about $2 billion that was sucked out of the system.”
"The Trans Health companies do not appear to have much in the way of assets. But Wilkes & McHugh is trying to collect from a few hedge funds and financial institutions such as GE Capital Corp., saying they colluded to pull money out of nursing home operations and should now be forced to return it."