Landon Terrel has been convicted of elder neglect for his actions against  91-year-old Adam Bennett who died last year. On Aug. 15, 2017, Bennett was found in his room at Sunrise Assisted Living Center with a bruised lip. Bennett told a day-shift caregiver: “He punched me,” while motioning to his face, chest, and groin. Soon after, Bennett became unresponsive.

Caregivers at the facility called for an ambulance. He was rushed to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where his injuries included facial bruising, multiple rib fractures, and a collapsed lung. He never regained consciousness and died on Aug. 18. Cobb’s Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Christopher Gulledge, ruled Mr. Bennett’s death resulted from blunt force trauma as a result of assault.

Evidence collected by police showed that Terrel was the only male working the overnight shift at Sunrise that night. Terrel denied hitting Bennett and insisted he saw no facial bruising when he last checked on Bennett just before his shift ended at 6 am. But he told investigators he “caught” Bennett as he fell out of bed the previous evening and Bennett had banged his chest into the bed. Terrel said he checked on Bennett hourly throughout the night and that Bennett repeatedly complained of pain. Terrel admitted he used “poor judgment” in repeatedly ignoring those complaints.

After a week long trial and about three days of deliberations, a Cobb jury convicted Terrel of elder neglect and found him not guilty of two counts of elder abuse and one count of felony murder based on abuse. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the charge of felony murder based on neglect. Terrel faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported that the family of a 94-year-old widow offered a $2,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of an unknown man who they say sexually assaulted her at Governor’s Glen Memory Care and Assisted Living facility.

The Golden family alleges that the home didn’t handle the case properly. The family said police were not called for five hours, and the delay hurt the gathering of crucial evidence.  The day of the incident, Golden told nursing staff she had been inappropriately touched by an unknown man the night before, according to police. She said this around 9:30 a.m., according to Madden.

Governor’s Glen officials deny that Golden was the victim of a sexual assault.

“We believe nothing happened,” said Dennis Stamey, an operating partner with Canopy Lifestyles, which operates Governor’s Glen and five other facilities in Georgia.

 

Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center nursing home in Summerville, S.C. is facing two wrongful death claims. One claims a resident died from neglect and reckless treatment and care.  The suit says the woman suffered harm and died as a consequence of the neglect for failing to supervise and monitor this woman’s vital signs and failed to document and notify physicians of changes in her condition.

In February of 2019, DHEC investigated complaints of residents receiving medication late and there were more than 2,000 pages of documents on late administration and late charting of resident medications.

The suit says Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center failed to notify the nurse until about nine hours later and did not sent her to the hospital. EMS was finally called later that day and the woman was admitted for an accidental overdose along with another infection.

The woman was able to return to the nursing home and then a month later she fell in the bathroom because of poor supervision.

Marci DeLong has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Cheyenne HealthCare Center, alleging the nursing home neglected the care of her husband so badly that it caused his death.  Cheyenne Healthcare Center is owned and operated by SavaSeniorCare.  SavaSeniorCare is one of the largest national for-profit chains in the country.  They have a terrible history of poor care, regulatory noncompliance, and short-staffing.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports Marci DeLong filed the lawsuit on June 18 against SavaSeniorCare, a Delaware company that owns and operates Cheyenne HealthCare Center. She is seeking damages for the February 2017 death of 49-year-old Robert DeLong.

Court records say Ronald DeLong was taken to the nursing home in September 2016 following complications from a stroke.

Nursing home staff took him to the hospital on Jan. 24, 2017. Doctors noted DeLong suffered acute kidney failure, upper GI bleeding, severe sepsis and urinary tract infections while under the care of the nursing home.

 

The Record Online reported that a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the operators of Sapphire Nursing at Meadow Hill, claiming they cut so much staff after buying the 190-bed nursing home that residents’ calls for help go unanswered and some lie “in their own fecal matter and urine for hours at a time.”  The complaint cites federal data showing that daily nursing staff hours have significantly dropped to 3.2 hours per resident from about 4.0 hours before the transfer.

The case alleges the buyers made steep cuts in nurses and nursing aides after completing the purchase of what used to be Elant at Meadow Hill.  Controversy over staffing at the 120-bed Goshen home began in December 2017, when union representatives said the home had announced layoffs that would reduce the number of nurses to 17 from 37.  The suit is seeking proper staffing levels, accurate dislosure of the staffing, and an unspecified amount in damages for all residents of the home since the home changed ownership in 2017.

Dorothy Olympia rarely got her medications on time, and once was taken to a hospital because she had been given her insulin without being fed sufficiently and nearly fell into a diabetic coma, according to the suit by her daughter, Joanne McCleary. The suit also alleges that staffing was so short that “on many occasions, Mrs. McCleary had to shower her mother herself.” In another instance, it meant that a male physical therapist had to change Olympia’s clothes “because he had found her sitting in urine and feces for several hours.”

The complaint charges that residents’ call bells “would be left on for hours with no nurses or aides coming to assist.”

 

 

Video has surfaced of Anna Mae Blessing confessing to shooting her son dead after he threatened to put her in a nursing home. Blessing was arrested last year for shooting her son Thomas dead in Arizona. She died before going to trial.  She said in a video interview with police that she had two guns stashed inside her dressing gown. She told police that as Thomas came towards her she fired multiple rounds at her only son.

“I can’t remember the calibre, it was a good size one,” she said. “I backed up and I pulled the trigger, and it broke the mirror and I don’t know what I did. Then Tom was going to come at me again so I pulled the trigger … I’m sure the second round hit him.”

“Where did it hit him?” asked the detective.

“I have no idea, but I do know I killed him. I bent over and took his pulse, and there was no pulse. So I knew I killed him.”

“I didn’t want to go to a nursing home and he would promise me I never would have to,” she said.

“How do you feel right now about what happened?” the detective asked.

 “I wish I had stayed in Florida,” said Blessing.

“I probably ought to be put to sleep. What can I do for society? I killed my son. The person I brought into this world.”

Blessing then pointed the gun at her son’s girlfriend, Julie, before the two struggled over the weapon and it was knocked to the ground.

“Help me! Help! She’s going to shoot me! She’s going to shoot me!” Julie can be heard screaming on a 911 call.

A resident of an assisted living facility in Sandy Springs, Georgia, died after the nursing home failed to prevent the ant bites over her body.  Betty Perloe and her personal aide saw ants in Perloe’s bathroom and closet at Somerby Senior Living of Sandy Springs and the aide reported the infestation to staff.  Nothing was done.

Perloe was found suffering from bites, with ants on her body and in her bed.  Then the next day, Perloe was found again with ants on her body and pus-filled bites across her midsection, underneath her breasts and on other areas.

Perloe, a retired nurse, was “agitated,” “moaning” and “scratching” the blistered areas, according to the lawsuit, and she was put on morphine and other pain medications to chemically restrain her.  She died days later.

Lance Lourie, the attorney representing the family, said the most important aspect of this case is not that Perloe’s death was accelerated. “It’s about the way she died, in an undignified and painful way that was unnecessary.”

The family of a woman who died in March 2017 has filed a lawsuit in Texas claiming the woman died as the result of neglect on the part of  Cross Country Healthcare Center nursing home, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported in its Dec. 13 edition.

The family of Vicki Brown, who died at age 70, filed the lawsuit against Cross Country Healthcare Center. Brown’s daughter, Shelly Cameron, and her son, John Weldon, are suing the nursing home, the Fort Worth newspaper reported.  Cameron said she originally did not want to sue anybody, but felt a responsibility to make sure no one else is treated the way her mother was.

“After seeing what happened to her, we didn’t have a choice,” Cameron said. “You just can’t let this go, it’s going to happen to somebody else. It’s going to happen to somebody else’s mom.”

Senior Living LLC, which operates the nursing home, said it would not comment on pending litigation.

In January 2017, Brown, 70, was found unresponsive at Cross Country Healthcare Center. She had been doing well health-wise until about a week before when she came down with the flu. Within six days, her condition worsened to the point she needed to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance.  Brown was taken to the hospital in an ambulance in January 2017 after she was found unresponsive in the nursing home. When she arrived at the hospital, Brown was unbathed, dirty and dressed only in a T-shirt and briefs. Her eyes were matted closed and her eyelashes were so crusted, she could not open her eyes.  Her lips were dry and cracked and covered in dried blood and her lower lip was swollen. Scattered bruises covered her upper and lower body. Brown’s dentures were removed and covered with a brown growth. She had a large ulcer spreading near her pelvis, another on her right leg and one on each foot.

The newspaper also reported that Brown’s physicians reported to the state that Brown had been neglected by the nursing home. The newspaper cited a Department of Aging investigation in February 2017.

“The nurse in charge was horrified,” Cameron said. “The catheter looked like it had coffee grounds in it, that’s how black it was. She had huge bed sores. This all happened in a six day period. Her tongue was bloody. We had never seen her that way. We were scared to death.”

Brown was ultimately diagnosed with sepsis, a urinary tract infection and multiple ulcers. She was treated with antibiotics, but she died three months after arriving at the hospital, in March 2017.

The Department of Aging conducted an investigation of the facility in February 2017 and concluded that conditions there placed residents in immediate jeopardy.

Among other things, the agency found that it failed to prevent residents from developing ulcers. Pressure ulcers form when a patient does not move often enough and the skin becomes worn down. The wound can blister, split open and, if left untreated, cause infection and severe tissue loss.

 

I read an interesting article about the ongoing legal injustice going on in North Carolina that started several years ago and continues to this day.  The case relates to the Blue Ridge Health Care Center in Raleigh, NC, where three nursing home residents died.  Family members and experts blamed the preventable deaths on the corporate pattern and practice of short-staffing the nursing homes to increase the profits.  Well, after hearing all the evidence, a jury found that the wrongful deaths were caused by inadequate staffing and compensated the families for the loss of their loved ones in the amount of $4.5 million last year.  A trial judge later vacated the punitive damages awarded.

Why even have a jury if a judge can nullify their decisions!?

The Fourth Circuit court reinstated the award in August but arbitrarily lowered the amount to $2 million.  However, the court has granted post-judgment interest, tallied from the date of the original judgment.  Therefore, the nursing home must pay interest on $2 million in damages awarded last year, even though the original larger award had been temporarily vacated.

That interest will be calculated at the federal rate, equal to the weekly average one-year constant maturity Treasury yield.

The West Virginia Record reported on a lawsuit by the estate administrator against Saddle Shop Road Operations LLC, which does business as Hilltop Center, Genesis Healthcare Corp. and Brian Chapman, alleging that the deceased, Harold Gene Nutter, received improper care while he was a resident of the Hilltop Center nursing facility.

Estate administrator Charles Fitzwater filed a complaint May 3 in Fayette Circuit Court, alleging that Nutter suffered serious and permanent injuries on May 8, 2017 that resulted in his death.

Fitzwater also alleges that Nutter’s surviving family members have suffered sorrow, mental anguish and loss of society, companionship, comfort and guidance, as a result of the negligence of the defendants in providing inadequate health care and protective and support services to the decedent.

Specifically, the plaintiff claims the defendants failed to employ a sufficient number of staff and failed to ensure that residents received the proper care, treatment, hydration and hygiene requirements.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks a judgment against defendants for damages, attorney’s fees, costs and expenses, punitive damages and other relief that the court deems just. He is represented by Jonathan R. Mani of Mani, Ellis & Layne PLLC in Charleston.