By DOUG IBENDAHL • January 23, 2014
Yesterday we told you about the tragic cases of Arlene Townsend and Joseph Webb. Both were residents of nursing homes operated by Trans Healthcare, Inc. (“THI”).
GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner was a principal of the private equity firm GTCR when it founded THI in 1998 with a plan to create the largest privately owned nursing home company in the country through a series of mergers and acquisitions.
Yet another nursing home victim of the GTCR-linked THI was Juanita Jackson. Here is Ms. Jackson’s story as related by the law firm which represented her estate, Wilkes & HcHugh, P.A.:
The nursing home staff knew when Juanita Jackson was admitted that she was at risk for falls, but they did not put proper preventative measures in place. Within two weeks of her admission, they allowed her to fall. It was a catastrophic injury; Jackson suffered a closed head trauma and fractured her upper arm. She never fully recovered from her injuries and became more dependent on the nursing home staff than ever before.
Moreover, the nursing home was chronically short-staffed with overworked employees. Patients suffered. Juanita Jackson suffered. They didn’t turn her enough or elevate her heels to prevent the development of bedsores. She got multiple bedsores, including at least one that rotted to the bone. They didn’t give her enough to eat and drink, causing her to become malnourished and dehydrated. Juanita was also overmedicated during her stay. She was left to lie in bed so long that she developed contractures, where the muscles shrivel up, making movement even more difficult.
Jackson’s family removed her from the nursing home on May 30, 2003, but it was too late. Her health continued to deteriorate, and she died July 6, 2003.
[. . .]
The jury heard from former caregivers, including a staffing coordinator, a certified nurse’s assistant and a nurse, who all testified that the home maintained terrible conditions, such as not enough staff or supplies, and that the patients suffered as a result. They also heard testimony from a doctor and a medical expert about how Juanita Jackson’s terrible injuries resulted from the poor treatment and led to her death.
You can read more here.
The $114 million verdict obtained in 2010 by Wilkes & McHugh on behalf of Ms. Jackson’s estate was the first in a line of massive judgments against THI and its management company Trans Healthcare Management, Inc. Two other major jury awards came in 2012: $200 million to the Estate of Elvira Nunziata (see here) and $900 million to the Estate of Joseph Webb (see here). In 2013 another jury awarded: $1.1 billion to the Estate of Arlene Anne Townsend (see here).
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.