Nursing home failed to provide proper care, suit says

By Chris Dickerson | Jan 2, 2007

WINFIELD – A Teays Valley nursing home has been sued over alleged poor treatment a woman received in the facility before her death.

James Conley Henderson, as executor of the estate of Peggie Ann Henderson, filed the complaint Dec. 26 in Putnam Circuit Court against Genesis Eldercare Corporation and related companies.

The complaint says Peggie Ann Henderson, who also was known as Peggie W. Henderson, was admitted to Teays Valley Center on Nov. 19, 2004 for "skilled/short" care. She stayed in the nursing home until Dec. 29, 2004. She died on Feb. 18, 2005.

When Peggie Ann Henderson was admitted to the home, she was an incapacitated adult "in that she lacked sufficient understanding and/or mental capacity to make, communicate or carry out reasonable decisions regarding her well-being."

At her admission, it was determined the patient was at risk for falls.

"Defendants and/or their agents and/or employees knew or should have known of Mrs. Henderson's medical and mental conditions," the complaint states.

The plaintiff says the defendants owned, operated and/or managed the nursing home. The complaint does not specify the relationship between the plaintiff and the deceased, nor does it specify the deceased's age or exact medical condition that resulted in the loss of mental capacity.

The plaintiff says the defendants said they could adequately care for Mrs. Henderson.

"On this basis, Mrs. Henderson and her family placed their trust in defendants," the complaint states. "Defendants owed Mrs. Henderson a non-delegable duty to provide her with reasonable nursing, rehabilitative and medical care, and to provide for her daily needs."

They failed, according to the complaint.

The list of negligent actions includes inadequate charting of the patient's condition; inaccurate, inadequate and improperly completed medical records; improperly following her care plan; improperly evaluating her condition; and failing to exercise the required "care, skill and learning required or expected of a reasonable, prudent health care provider."

Also, the complaint says the patient's records don't mention her impaired vision or that a wheelchair from which she fell was broken and that she continued to use the broken wheelchair. In addition, the suit says the defendants "unreasonably delayed transporting Mrs. Henderson to the hospital on 12/29/04, as she showed signs (unable to bear weight) of a fractured hip at 1:20 p.m. that day."

As a result of the defendants' actions, Mrs. Henderson sustained multiple injuries including a right hip fracture, physical pain, mental suffering, medical expenses and a serious decline in health and quality of life.

The plaintiff says the defendants knew of "serious deficiencies" in the care and treatment of patients before and during Mrs. Henderson's stay and that those problems could be harmful to residents.

"Defendants made a conscious business decision not to correct these deficiencies and sacrificed patient care in the name of business profit," the suit states. "In so doing, defendants exhibited willful, wanton and reprehensible conduct."

The plaintiff seeks joint and several compensatory and punitive damages as well as court costs, interest and other relief.

The listed defendants are Genesis Eldercare Corporation, Genesis Health Ventures of West Virginia Inc., Genesis Health Ventures of West Virginia LP, Genesis HealthCare Venture of West Virginia LP, Genesis Healthcare Corporation, NeighborCare Inc. fka Genesis Health Ventures Inc. dba Genesis Eldercare, Teays Valley Carehaven, Genesis Health Ventures Inc., Teays Valley LP and Glenmark Associates Inc. dba Teays Valley Center.

Henderson is represented by South Charleston attorney Henry R. Glass III and Bridgewater, Va., attorney Roy D. Turner.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Ed Eagloski.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 06-C-426

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