Fatal nursing home injury results in lawsuit

By Annie Cosby | Oct 28, 2014

CHARLESTON – The daughter of a Kanawha County woman is suing over claims her mother was fatally injured while a resident of an assisted living facility.

Donna Burris Brown, individually and as executrix of the estate of Geraldine Burris, filed a lawsuit Sept. 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Sweetbriar Assisted Living; Rhonda McDonald and Donna Gibeaut, administrators of Sweetbriar; John Does 1 through 10; and unidentified entities 1 through 10 (as to Sweetbriar), citing wrongful death.

According to the complaint, Geraldine Burris was a resident of Sweetbriar in Dunbar from Oct. 21, 2011, until Dec. 13, 2013, during which time she sustained injuries including falls, fractures, pressure sores and urinary tract infections, which all contributed to her death.

The complaint states Sweetbriar administrators were aware of problems with patient care at the facility due to staffing and budgetary problems.

The defendants are accused of fraud; violations of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act; malice and/or gross negligence which evidences a willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for the safety of Burris; breach of fiduciary duty; assisted living facility violations; medical malpractice; and corporate negligence for concealing the problems with the facility from residents' families and state and federal governments as well as failing to address the issues. The administrator and John Doe defendants also are accused of negligence.

Brown seeks damages and costs of litigation.

She is represented in the case by attorneys James B. McHugh, Michael J. Fuller Jr., and Anthony Lance Reins of McHugh Fuller Law Group in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1612

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