Lehman Executor v. Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group Inc.

This matter was a seven day jury trial in the Massachusetts Superior Court resulting in a defense verdict wherein the plaintiff alleged that the defendant nursing home abused her decedent with psychotropic medications as a matter of convenience to staff and that staff failed to record and report the side effects of the psychotropic medications to the resident’s attending physician.

The plaintiff also alleged that her decedent became sedated to the point that she could no longer participate in physical therapy, which led to the nursing home’s subsequent decision to discontinue skilled services and termination of Medicare coverage.  The plaintiff further alleged that the resident was repeatedly hospitalized as a result of the adverse side effects and that she was not able to return to her home as a result of the harm caused by the repeated administration of medications, which left her in a "zombied" state.  The plaintiff submitted in excess of $250,000 in privately paid bills as evidence of her damages for long term care that followed the termination of her benefits.

Following a complaint investigation, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health cited the nursing home for having overmedicated the resident and issued a G-level scope and severity deficiency tag upon concluding that the claimed overmedication resulted in actual harm to the resident.  Notwithstanding the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s finding, the jury found for the nursing home, which advanced a case that the administration of the medications was proper in the setting of the resident’s advancing Alzheimer’s dementia, which was complicated by a new onset of delirium and psychosis, and that the medications had been ordered by the resident’s attending physician and her consulting clinicians.
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