Money, gavel

A Georgia nursing home must pay $1.8 million to the family of a former resident, despite a jury finding the provider not responsible for the woman’s 2015 death.

Jurors this week determined that Grace Healthcare of Tucker, GA, should compensate Christine Mitchell’s estate for the pain and suffering she experienced for 31 days after she tumbled from her bed. The skilled nursing facility has admitted liability, but plans to appeal the judgment, believing the verdict was “out of line with the evidence,” attorney Howard Reese III told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Grace Healthcare of Tucker’s policy says that two aides must help with changing linens when a resident is in bed because it does not use bedrails or restraints. Only one aide handled 70-year-old Mitchell’s sheets on the day of her fall, however, and used too much force, causing her to tumble off of the bed and hit her head. She died a month later.

Jurors agreed with Grace Healthcare that Mitchell’s death stemmed from myriad health issues and not just the head trauma. But they determined that the home failed to properly administer care, leading to the fall and leaving her in pain during her final days.

Grace Healthcare of Tucker and its parent company did not immediately respond to a McKnight’s request for comment Wednesday.