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Plaintiff Seeks $1.9M Plus Fees and Costs, But Jury Decides for Nursing Home

August 9, 2023

Johnson & Bell Shareholders, Gregory E. Schiller and David J. Thompson, secured a defense verdict in favor of their nursing home client against allegations of professional negligence and violations of the Nursing Home Care Act. The plaintiff claimed that her mother’s hypothyroidism was not properly managed while in the nursing home, which caused weakness (evidenced by 10 falls in six months) and eventually leading to a head injury, pneumonia, sepsis, and death. Plaintiff alleged that the nursing home staff failed to identify signs and symptoms of uncontrolled hypothyroidism, failed to obtain and report laboratory results, and failed to timely hospitalize the decedent based on her poor condition and irregular breathing.

In contrast, the defense argued that the decedent’s weakness and falls were a consequence of her dementia and advanced age, that the elevated lab results were properly communicated to the decedent’s medical team, and that uncontrolled hyperthyroidism did not cause or contribute to cause the decedent’s falls, pneumonia, sepsis, and death.

After a two-week trial, plaintiff asked at closing for $1.9M in damages, and would have also received attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to the NHCA. After 90 minutes of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. Schiller and Thompson defended their nursing home client in this dispute. A co-defendant nurse practitioner was separately represented and also received a jury verdict in her favor.


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