$20 million for nursing home death

[84-year-old Loren] Richards died on March 2, 2002, at Beverly Health and Rehabilitation of Frankfort.

Richards’ daughter, Wanda Delaplane, sued the home, alleging that nurses had ignored her father’s repeated calls for help with abdominal pain. With an impacted bowel, he later died of a heart attack and a blood clot in his left lung.

The home argued that Richards had a heart attack because he had smoked for years and had severely blocked arteries. The Kentucky jury also awarded $200,000 for failing to immediately notify the family of a downward turn in Richards’ health. The Richards family had asked for over $150 million in total damages. Delaplane is an attorney with the Kentucky Attorney General’s office, so you know which government agency not to complain to when nursing home expenses go through the roof because of the liability insurance costs. (Greg Kocher, “Man’s estate to get $20 million”, Lexington Herald-Leader, May 5; Greg Kocher, “Nursing home provided proper care, attorney says in closing arguments”, Lexington Herald-Leader, May 3; Steve Lannen, “Nursing home sued for $155 million”, Lexington Herald-Leader, Mar. 23).


  • Because, you know, the average lifespan of an 84-year-old smoker is… wait, that’s a NEGATIVE number!

  • Nursing home litigation is a growth industry. America’s population is getting older, and needs to be stuck somewhere because extended families don’t live together. Nursing homes are slow-moving targets for opportunistic litigation because everyone there is suffering from medical problems and about to die anyway. The staffs are often low-paid, but even if they’re as careful as can be, Mother Nature (or the Grim Reaper) is going to step in at some point. All a plaintiff needs is to show the “terrible” conditions of the home (often no worse than people’s homes, but when it comes to grandma and grandpa, only the Ritz will do) and make the connection. So, the homes make unsympathetic defendants. Juries (and families of plaintiffs) will transfer their own guilt about parking their parents and channel it into anger at the nursing home industry. That’ll make for verdicts like the one in this story.

  • Rising costs at the nursing home may also have something to do with the fact that “11 of the 13 nurses on duty were on a break” at one time.

  • I know 3 people whose parent has died as a result of ‘acute neglect’ by a nursing home. If it wasn’t for the the lawyers who chose to go up against a heavily consolidated nursing home ‘for profit’ industry, these 3 friends would have had to accept this neglect in silence. The lawyers are heros to people who have lost loved one uneccesarily.Where is it written that these homes should get away with murder?

  • And by the way, I know of 3 documetaries currently in production (2 by major actors who decided to make a film about these homes while trying to find one for a parent). They have no financial motive – only a heartfelt desire to let people looking a nusring homes for their parents make informed decisions; so it will be most interesting to see if you decide to post my recent email to you.

  • Have you ever been to a Beverly Enterprises home? I have. I suggest you read up on their scores and the number of deaths as a result of severe neglect. Have you even bothered to understand the constant changing of hands of these homes to avoid lawsuits. Again, I suggest you read up on it. Have you bothered to look into why there are such a high number of ambutees in nursing homes. Its is not because of diabetes, Look into it and learn about medicare fraud,its a much bigger problem and sucking more money out of our economy tha lawsuits ever will.