Kindred faces $2 million verdict in nursing home assault case with no eyewitnesses

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A jury recently slapped Kindred Healthcare with a $2 million verdict in a resident abuse case that turned on testimony from medical experts, attorneys announced Thursday.

An 87-year-old resident at a Kindred facility in Massachusetts* was found with genital bruising and bleeding, according to court documents. Kindred argued she sustained the injuries in a fall, while her lawyers argued that she had been assaulted. She was represented by attorney Bernard J. Hamill, and Jeanne Stanford was the plaintiff acting as power of attorney.

There were no eyewitnesses to an assault, so the plaintiff's legal team relied on hospital records and testimony from doctors who treated the resident to make its case during the trial in December.

“At the time we learned of the allegations we conducted a thorough investigation and do not believe the assault occurred,” Kindred Vice-President of Communications Susan Moss told McKnight's. “In addition, the incident was investigated by the Department of Public Health and the police and they did not substantiate that an assault occurred.”

The jury entered its verdict Dec. 17 after deliberating for three hours, according to information released by Hamill and his colleague, attorney David Hoey, only late last week.

The monetary award is the largest-ever jury verdict in a Massachusetts nursing home abuse case, according to the law firm.

Kindred “does not agree” with the award, Moss said, adding that “resident care and safety is our number one concern.”

*Editor's Note: This article originally stated that the resident's name was Jeanne Stanford, represented by David Hoey. Stanford was the plaintiff acting as power of attorney, not the resident involved in the incident, and Bernard Hamill was her attorney.

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