TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

May 16, 2008

Hillcrest sued over death of former resident

Negligence, resident’s rights, breach of contract among the charges

By Brad Hicks / Staff Writer

The daughter of a London man who died as the result of injuries he allegedly suffered while staying at an area nursing home has filed suit against 13 employees of the nursing home and its owners.

The suit, filed April 30 in Laurel County District Court, states William Conrad Hale was a resident of the Hillcrest Nursing Home, located in Corbin, from May 24, 2006 to May 5, 2007. The complaint alleges due to the wrongful conduct of the defendants, Hale “suffered accelerated deterioration of his health and physical condition beyond that caused by the normal aging process.” It also contends this alleged wrongful conduct led to Hale suffering a neck fracture after a fall at the nursing home, which caused his death.

The complaint also alleges employees of the nursing home were negligent in their assessment and medical care of Hale and they failed to properly monitor, service and supervise Hale during his stay and inadequate care was provided.

Named in the suit were David Dietz, Executive Director/Administrator of the nursing home, Peggy Sue Martin, director of nursing at the home, Jacqueline Rhodes, a licensed practical nurse for the home and 10 other unidentified employees. Also named was the Forcht Group of Kentucky, LLC, acting as owner of the home, First Corbin Long Term Care, Inc. and Hillcrest Nursing Home, which Terry E. Forcht was served for all three.

The suit charges nursing home employees and its owners with nine counts, including a count of negligence, medical negligence, violations of long-term care resident’s rights, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary responsibility, causes of action against David Dietz, Peggy Sue Partin, Jacqueline Rhodes, punitive damages.

According to Hale’s death report, artrial fibrillation, underlying cardiac disease, complication by a C2 fracture and falling out of bed were listed as injuries or complication that caused death. Also, listed under “other significant conditions contributed to death but not resulting in the underlying cause” included diabetes, dimentia and Parkinson’s disease. The manner of death listed was accident.

Hale’s daughter, Elizabeth Hale, who named administratrix of his estate in 2007, is seeking an unspecified amount of punitive and compensatory damages.

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