In 2009, Martha Jane Pierce’s son took a sock off of his 82 year-old mother’s foot. He discovered rotting flesh. According to her daughter, “It looked like a piece of black charcoal,” and smelled “like death.” Mrs. Pierce was ultimately transferred to the hospital, where a surgeon had to amputate much of her leg. She filed suit against Allenbrooke Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
According to financial records and testimony, Allenbrooke was severely underfunded with a $2 million dollar deficit. They were understaffed and one nurse testified, “Sometimes we’d be short of diapers, sheets, linens.”
Further investigation revealed that $2.8 million of Allenbrooke’s $12 million in operating expenses went to several corporations that were controlled by the two owners of Allenbrooke, Donald Denz and Norbert Bennett, who also owned 32 other nursing homes. The nursing homes paid the owners’ other companies to provide services such as physical therapy, drugs and management, from which the owners realized profits. Legal documents showed Mr. Denz and Mr. Bennett’s families’ trusts collected $40 million from their businesses’ $145 million revenue over an eight year period. It has become an increasing practice for owners of nursing homes to contract services to companies in which they have a financial interest.
When someone is injured or dies due to a health care provider’s negligence, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the party’s right to recover.
Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law as it requires an understanding of both the legal practice and the mechanics of medicine. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.