A Louisville, Ky.-based nursing home chain has ended an appeal of Georgia nursing home negligence case and paid a seven-figure jury award.
Columbus attorney Ben Land of Buchanan & Land LLP represented the estate of Melvin Raybon in DeKalb County State Court last year. The jury returned a $1.25 million verdict against Tucker Nursing Center Inc., which at the time was part of the Kindred Healthcare chain.
It is believed to be the largest jury award affirmed in a nursing home negligence case in Georgia, Land said Monday.
In late March, the three-judge Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict. Attorneys for the nursing home filed a notice of intent to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court, but later dropped it. The nursing facility operator paid Raybon’s estate $1.351 million late last month, Land said.
The additional $100,000 was for interest.
“They didn’t give up and it cost $100,000 more than it would have cost them a year earlier,” Land said.
Raybon’s estate filed suit against Tucker Nursing Center, Inc., owned at the time by Kindred Healthcare, seeking damages arising from bedsores that Raybon developed during and after his residency at the nursing home, Land said. The suit contended Raybon, an amputee who had previously had part of his skull removed as a result of a brain tumor, was neglected by the nursing home during his residency from December 2002 until September 2003.
Land said he was proud that his client stood firm and not only took this case to a jury but resisted the temptation to settle the case for less than its true value.
“This case demanded full justice, not partial justice, and that could only be obtained through a jury trial and the successful conclusion of the appeal,” Land said.
The verdict should put nursing home providers on notice, Land said.
Nursing home residents “deserve better than what Melvin Raybon got, and the corporations that operate these facilities need to know that they will be held to account if they mistreat and neglect the people entrusted to their care,” Land said.