A Kentucky jury has awarded $42.75 million to the family of an elderly man who was allegedly neglected in a Madisonville nursing home. The decedent, Joseph Clint Offutt, 92, was reportedly only a resident at the facility, Harborside of Madisonville, for nine days before he died. Wilkes & McHugh represented the family.
The trial lasted three weeks. The family alleged that nursing home staff members neglected Offutt, causing him to suffer severe dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores (pressure sores, decubitus ulcers), infections and, ultimately, death. Adult Protective Services officials of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services reportedly substantiated the allegations of neglect of Offutt. In particular the Cabinet found cited the nursing home for failing to prevent bedsores that developed during the decedent’s admission.
Offutt served in World War II and was still planting crops at age 88. A stroke weakened him in 2007, and his wife of 58 years, Pearline, cared for him at home for eight months before the family realized he needed professional care. The jury awarded $1 million for Offutt’s pain and suffering, $1.75 million for his wife’s loss and $40 million for punitive damages, according to court documents.
Family awarded $42.75 million in nursing home case, Lexington-Herald-Leader, Valarie Honeycutt Spears, November 19, 2010.