A state court jury in Tennessee awarded $8 million in damages last month to the estate of a retired surgeon whose legs were broken while he was in the care of Treyton Oak Towers in Louisville. The verdict against the nonprofit nursing home was returned after a two-week trial before Judge Brian C. Edwards. Dr. David Griffin died less than two months after he was improperly transferred from a chair into his bed — and it appears that Treyton Oak tried to cover up what happened.
After Dr. Grifffin’s legs were broken in the September 2008 incident, he was put back in bed “like it didn’t happen” and employees were ordered to change medical records and cover up the incident. Because of a stroke, Dr. Griffin couldn’t tell anybody “about the agony he was in.”
After being found with two broken bones on Sept. 24, 2008, Dr. Grifffin was treated at a hospital and later transferred to a different nursing home. He died on November 3rd. Dr. Griffin had severe osteoporosis and the nursing home said doctors failed to inform its employees of this diagnosis. The jury verdict included $2 million for pain and suffering, $1 million for violating the state nursing home statute and $5 million in punitive damages. The Plaintiffs claimed Dr. Griffin was transferred without a lift and by only one nursing assistant, in violation of the nursing home’s care plan, which required two assistants.
The nursing home denies any liability and claims its employees did nothing wrong. Dr. Griffin, who was in his mid-80s and had retired many years before he was injured, was a patient in Treyton Oak Tower’s skilled residential facility. William Garmer and Matt Minner, lawyers with the Birmingham firm, Hare Wynn, represented the doctor’s family. They did a very good job in this case for their clients.
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