A Dekalb County, Georgia, jury returned a verdict in late December against a Georgia nursing home. Melvin Raybon died in pain four years ago, and the jury agreed that the cause of his suffering was neglect at the Tucker nursing home where he lived for nine months. The jury awarded Mr. Raybon’s daughter $1.25 million in the lawsuit over the care her father received at the Tucker Nursing Center. The Center was accused of providing inadequate attention to Mr. Raybon who was admitted in 2002.
Nine months after his admission, Mr. Raybon had to go to a hospital for treatment of a bed sore that infected his left buttock to the bone. Nursing assistants from the nursing home testified there weren’t enough staffers at the Center to provide adequate care. Mr. Raybon should have been turned over every two hours to alleviate the pressure that leads to bed sores, but he was instead turned every four hours. Mr. Raybon, a former forklift operator, was admitted to another nursing home in Buckhead after the hospital stabilized him, but his condition deteriorated. He had suffered from malnutrition as a result of the original infection, which sent his body into a death spiral that led to more bed sores and infections at the Buckhead home. Mr. Raybon died in June 2004.
Kindred Healthcare, a company based in Louisville, Kentucky, owned the nursing home at the time of the alleged wrongdoing. In 2007, the home was sold to a new owner. It was agreed Mr. Raybon was ill when he arrived at the Tucker home. Part of his brain had been removed because of cancer, and one of his legs had been amputated. The nursing home claimed that Mr. Raybon’s prior condition caused his death. Nurses at the Tucker home testified that they took good care the resident.
Lawyers for the nursing home claimed it was the later care at the Buckhead nursing home that actually caused Mr. Raybon’s condition to deteriorate. Interestingly, four certified nursing assistants testified about the inadequate care Mr. Raybon received at the Tucker facility. One of them was fired for “not doing her job.” Mr. Raybon’s daughter, Yolanda Latimore, said she repeatedly asked officials at the Tucker nursing home to take better care of her father. Ben Land, a Columbus, Georgia lawyer, represented the Raybon family and did a good job. The Defendants are expected to file an appeal.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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