After a 2 week trial in Hendersonville, North Carolina, the jury awarded $800,000.00 to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff was represented by Poliakoff & Associates of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The jury award was $200,000.00 for personal injury suffered by the decedent while a resident at Brian Center – Hendersonville, and $600,000.00 in punitive damages. The Brian Center – Hendersonville is a nursing home owned by SSC Hendersonville Operating Company, LLC which is a subsidiary of SavaSeniorCare. The Defendant denied all liability, and vigorously defended the entire suit.
The Plaintiff argued that the decedent, Neal Hawkins, Jr., was identified by the Brian Center as being high risk for falls, but that the facility did little to address this problem in the care plan for the resident, and failed to revise the care plan on occasions when changes in his condition compelled such. Further, on February 11, 2005, Mr. Hawkins fell 3 times in one day at the facility, apparently fracturing his hip on the 3rd fall. Plaintiff further argued that the nursing facility failed to properly assess the patient, failed to follow procedures, failed to follow doctor’s orders, and allowed Mr. Hawkins to remain in the facility in pain for 7 days following the fracture, until he was finally transferred to the hospital.
The Defendant denied that it was liable or responsible for the falls or any resulting injury, and argued that it followed appropriate procedures. On November 16, 2007, the jury awarded a total of $800,000.00 in actual and punitive damages.
Plaintiff’s experts were Dr. Jonathan Klein of Falls Church, Virginia; Janet White of Emporia, Virginia; and Katherine Johnson, of Orlando, Florida. The case was tried for the Plaintiff by lead counsel Gary W. Poliakoff, Raymond P. Mullman, Jr., and Lara Pettiss Harrill. Also participating were attorney Matt Yelverton and attorney Greg Newman, both of Hendersonville, North Carolina.
As of the time of writing of this entry, the Defendant has indicated a possibility of appeal.