Woman sues Hidden Valley Center for mother’s abuse

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 6, 2017

CHARLESTON – A Fayette County woman is suing Hidden Valley Center after she claims they are responsible for abuse her mother suffered while she was a resident at the nursing home.

422 23rd Street Operations; Genesis WV Holdings, which is doing business as Hidden Valley Center; Brian Chapman; John Does; and unidentified entities were also named as defendants in the suit.

Wilma G. Withrow, who had Alzheimer’s and Dementia, was a resident at Hidden Valley for eight years, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Rita G. McGuffin claims the defendants were aware of Withrow’s mental and physical conditions and the care and supervision that she required when they represented to Withrow’s family that they could adequately care for her needs.

The defendants failed to discharge their obligations of care to Withrow and the requiste supervision to ensure her safety, according to the suit.

McGuffin claims as a result of the defendants’ actions, Withrow suffered catastrophic injuries, disfigurement, extreme pain, suffering and mental anguish.

The scope and severity of the wrongs inflicted upon Withrow while under the care of the facility accelerated the deterioration of the health and physical condition beyond that cause by the normal aging process and resulted in physical and emotional trauma, which included permanent disfigurement, irreversible change in mental status and substantial and irreversible scarring, according to the suit.

McGuffin claims that Withrow was subjected to eight years of mistreatment, maltreatment and abuse during her residency at the defendants’ facility.

Travis Griffith of Griffith Law Center is representing McGuffin in the lawsuit.

Griffith said the family received a phone call that Withrow was at Charleston Area Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit with a frontal lobe brain bleed, two black eyes, a hip injury and other injuries and were told she had had a fall.

“These injuries are not consistent with a simple fall,” Griffith said.

Griffith said when going through her medical records there were only two lines in her records regarding the fall, that just basically stated that she fell and was sent to the hospital.

“There were no more details,” he said. “Something just wasn’t right. The wounds looked more like someone had beaten this woman.”

Griffith said while they don’t know if Withrow was beaten by another patient or by a staff member, after she was finally healed after the incident, she was not sent back to Hidden Valley and was transferred to a facility where her family could see her daily and make sure she was taken care of.

“We hope to find out in discovery what happened to her,” Griffith said. “This should not happen in a nursing home. The family wants to know what happened to their loved one. They have an absolute right to know.”

The defendants are being sued on claims of negligence, nursing home violations, medical malpractice, malice and/or gross negligence, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

McGuffin is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 16-C-1783

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