Provo Rehabilitation and Nursing facility and a former nurse must pay $1.4 million for the death of a man who was given the wrong medications, a jury has ruled. The facility was ordered to pay the bulk of the damages to the family of Jack Adams who died Feb. 11, 2010, after a nurse at the facility gave him the wrong medications, then altered medication records in an attempt to cover up her mistake, according to the complaint.
The nurse, Camille Jensen, reportedly gave Adams three medications meant for another patient. Jensen did not report the error, instead giving Adams’ medications to another patient so that medicine counts would appear correct, according to the lawsuit.
Adams died two days later. Jensen allegedly waited until five days after the man’s funeral to inform Provo Rehabilitation and Nursing about the mix-up.
Had Jensen reported the mistake, Adams’ life likely could have been saved, experts who reviewed the case agreed.
Following Adams’ death, the care facility informed the man’s family about the mistake but denied responsibility, then billed the family for the nursing services, according to the family’s attorney. Details about the exchange were not allowed in the four-day jury trial.
The jury ascribed 35 percent of fault in Adams’ death to Jensen and 65 percent of fault to Provo Rehabilitation and Nursing.
A Utah appellate panel said the nursing home must pay the entire $1.4 million jury verdict in a suit accusing a nurse of negligence in fatally giving a patient the wrong medication, saying that as the nurse’s employer, the home must assume responsibility for both the act and its concealment.