Wrongful death suit filed against nursing home

By John O'Brien | Sep 8, 2006

CHARLESTON - The administratrix of the estate of a woman who spent three months in a Charleston nursing home prior to her death has filed suit against the home, claiming their negligence was a cause of the woman's death.

Leah Seabolt sued Manor Care, Inc., Health Care and Retirement Corporation of America and two employees at Heartland of Charleston Aug. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Seabolt is acting on behalf of Betty Wolfe, who died Jan. 27, 2005, at the age of 77.

From July 14-Oct. 29, 2004, the lawsuit says Wolfe was a resident at Heartland, where she did not receive proper care.

"During her residency at Heartland, Betty Wolfe suffered serious injuries from a pattern of poor care, neglect and abuse rendered by Heartland and its staff, which injuries included, but were not limited to, dehydration, wound infections to include infected decubitis ulcers, urinary tract infections, multiple falls, etc…," the complaint says.

Seabolt namely blames Karen Lawson, the nursing home's administrator, and nurse Billie Cullison.

She says they failed to: Keep Wolfe and family members fully informed of her condition; provide a sufficient number of staff; provide health care in compliance with state and federal regulations; enhance Wolfe's quality of life; implement, revise and execute an adequate resident care plan; provide adequate care to preserve Wolfe's condition; and generate or maintain complete and accurate medical records.

"The negligence and carelessness of the professionals and non-professionals at Heartland of Charleston contributed substantially in causing serious injuries to Betty Wolfe, resulting in pain and suffering," the complaint adds.

Seabolt seeks compensatory and punitive damages. E. William Harvit of Harvit and Schwartz in Charleston is her attorney.

Judge Irene Berger has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1758

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