The family of Eliza Jennings, 94, has been awarded $18 million in a wrongful death suit following claims of neglect at a Berea nursing home.
"The facts of this case are horrific," said Corey Fannin, an attorney with Wilkes & McHugh P.A. which represents Jennings' estate.
As part of the overall award, the jury awarded $9.5 million out of a maximum of $10 million for punitive damages because of the care Jennings failed to receive at The Terrace Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, according to court documents.
Jennings developed several deep bedsores, including sores down to the bone and infections, including E. coli. Fannin said. One deep-bone bedsore was the size of a softball and left her tailbone and nerve endings exposed. Evidence was presented at trial that The Terrace had a policy of leaving residents in wet diapers for extended periods of time to save money, he said.
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The woman had also lost use of her arms and legs because they had become "frozen" from the lack of range of motion exercises, he said.
The Terrace is a part of PMD Corporation, which owns 12 nursing homes across Kentucky, Fannin said.
Jennings was a retired postmaster for Berea College who also worked at the Holiday Motel until she was 80 years old. She entered the nursing home in 2004, Fannin said. Jennings died in 2009.
The case was filed in 2010 on behalf of the estate and James W. Jennings, Eliza Jennings' grandson. The monetary award was made last week in Madison Circuit Court following an eight-day trail.
Calvin Fulkerson, opposing counsel, could not be reached Tuesday.