Little Rock Jury Awards More than $10M in Nursing Home Case

FYI:  This is Wilkes & McHugh’s Press Release

Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. Case: Jury Awards More than $10 Million to Family of Nursing Home Victim (10/22/10 Press Release)

LITTLE ROCK – A Pulaski County jury has awarded more than $10 million to the family of a nursing home abuse and neglect victim.

Minnie Lee Valentine, 73, was a resident of Little Rock Health Care and Rehab, 5720 West Markham in Little Rock, from May 2004 until August 2004. She transferred to another nursing home through December that year before dying at Baptist Medical Center on Feb. 28, 2005.   

Her daughters, Zettie Robinson and Brenda Williams, filed a lawsuit in 2006 against the nursing home, its owner and affiliated companies. Little Rock attorneys Tammy Harrelson with Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. and Brent Moss with the Reddick Law Firm represented the family in a trial that ended Oct. 21, 2010.

Mrs. Valentine, who had dementia, endured severe “recurrent negligence” at the nursing home that  “accelerated the deterioration of her health and physical condition and resulted in the physical and emotional injuries,” according to the lawsuit.

During her stay, she suffered: bedsores, dehydration, urinary tract infections, poor hygiene, and two types of infections (MRSA and VRE) that are resistant to antibiotics. Those injuries caused Mrs. Valentine to lose her personal dignity and to suffer extreme and unnecessary pain, degradation, anguish, otherwise unnecessary hospitalizations, emotional trauma, and contributed to her death, according to the suit.

On Thursday, the jury assessed:

  • $5.1 million against Little Rock Health and Rehab for negligence and violation of the Residents’ Rights Act;
  • $3 million for negligence and $2 million in punitive damages against Donald B. Bedell; and 
  • $350,000 for negligence against Heartland Personnel Leasing, Inc.

The jury found two other defendants, Care Options Inc. and Arkansas Health Care Management LLC, not guilty of negligence.


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