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SIG investigators were the sole investigators in the following cases. This is but a brief sample of our work.

Nursing Home Neglect/Wrongful Death

Settlement: $13,500,000
Case: Bailey v. Senior Living Properties, LLC, Electra Healthcare Center

Case Description: Dud Grover Bailey, 90, was a resident of Electra Healthcare Center from February 1992 until his death on October 14, 2000. While a resident Bailey suffered from agonizing pressure sores, malnutrition, dehydration, and repeated falls. The plaintiffs alleged that the injuries and death of Bailey were a result of the facilities neglect. The plaintiffs alleged that Bailey was dependent on the facility for everyday care. The defense argued that staffing levels were adequate, the injuries were unavoidable and just a result of the patients medical condition and age. They claimed that the injuries were a result of the families neglect, as they would not allow a feeding tube.

Result: The plaintiff settled for $13,500,000 and Senior Living Properties is now in bankruptcy.


Nursing Home Neglect/Malice

Settlement: $65,000,000
Case: Rigby v. Rapp, et al.

Case Description: A 72-year-old resident of the LaPorte Healthcare Center in Anahuac was caught allegedly attempting to have sex with a 98-year-old fellow resident. The 72-year-old allegedly had a history of sexually deviant behavior at a sister nursing home, also owned by the defendant. The plaintiff alleged Dr. Rapp, the medical director of both nursing homes, was negligent in failing to disclose that history. The defendants argued the 98-year-old was in failing health, and possibly not aware of what happened. They claim they acted reasonably, and relied on the 72-year-old’s psychiatrist saying the patient was ready for discharge.

Result: The jury found malice against both defendants and a knowing violation of the Injury to an Elderly Individual Statute and awarded $65 million, including $60 million in punitives.


Nursing Home Neglect/Wrongful Death

Settlement: $6,970,000
Case: Dixon v. South Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

Case Description: In April 1998, Dixon was admitted to a hospital in a diabetic coma. The wrongful death and survival action filed by his wife and children alleged that the nursing home had ignored Dixon’s rising blood sugar and repeatedly violated physician’s orders to test for blood sugar levels and administer insulin. Dixon, who had previously been an ambulatory resident, became totally dependent and bedridden. In the year following the incident, he developed severe pressure sores and suffered form dehydration and weight loss. The nursing home denied the allegations and blamed Dixon’s poor health.

Result: The nursing home opted to settle the case because the plaintiffs had graphic photos of the pressure sores. The parties agreed to settle the case in November 2000, for $6.97 million.


Nursing Home Neglect/Wrongful Death

Settlement: $5,300,000
Case: Elijah Rockwell v. Cleaver Memorial Convalescent Center

Case Description: The plaintiff was the estate of Gertrude Hollins, who died at age 89 after residing in a Longview nursing home for 32 months. The lawsuit alleged that the nurses failed to turn and reposition Hollins and ignored Hollins’ severe and ongoing pain caused by massive pressure sores. It claimed that the home engaged in a pattern and practice of dangerous understaffing, destroyed personnel file and time cards to cover up the understaffing, sought heavy-care patients despite understaffing, and falsified staffing records. The home generally denies these allegations and argued that the staffing was sufficient. Statements showed that it was one of the worst cases of neglect that she had ever seen, said the plaintiff’s attorneys. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services cited the home for neglect of Hollins and repeatedly warned it about dangerous care practices. The dietician also testified that the nurses were grossly negligent. The plaintiff alleged that the dietician failed to monitor Hollins’ caloric intake properly and failed to make appropriate dietary recommendations. During her residency, she allegedly developed a 10-inch diameter, _-inch deep stage IV sacral/coccyx pressure sore that was infected and had sloughing, yellow drainage; developed a total of eight avoidable in-house pressure sores; was hospitalized four times for dehydration; and lost 90 pounds in two years. She allegedly suffered excruciating, continuous pain for the last eight months of her residency, at the end of which she died.

Result: The estate claimed $95,765 in medical bills and also sought punitive damages. The defense argued that the injuries were clinically unavoidable. The case settled before trial for $5.3 million.


Nursing Home Neglect/Wrongful Death

Settlement: $5,000,000
Case: Ronning v. Heartway Corp., et al.

Case Description: Alta Irene David, a 79-year-old stroke victim, entered the defendant nursing home in September 1996. She developed an extreme pressure sore on her coccyx. In February 1997, she was taken to the hospital in poor condition, completely bedridden, dehydrated, and suffering multiple infections in the sore. She was placed in the care of a hospice, and returned to the nursing home only to have to return to the hospital in March 1997, dehydrated and infected. She died on April 2, 1997, in the nursing home. The plaintiff alleged David did not receive the care she should have. Interstate Insurance Group took the position that regardless of the outcome of trial and any subsequent appeals, Interstate Insurance Group would refuse to pay the affirmed judgment, based on a "habitual neglect" exclusion. In order to avoid the necessity of two trials, the plaintiff’s attorneys proposed binding arbitration on the issue of coverage after the parties had agreed that $5 million was a reasonable settlement, given the facts of the case. The defendants contended that the patient was in her final stages of life.

Result: Take-nothing judgment against all defendants except Interstate. The plaintiff settled for $5,000,000 subject to binding arbitration. The arbitration was held in Austin on Feb. 10, 2000, and on Feb. 21, the plaintiff’s attorneys received word that Robert Gammage, the former Texas Supreme Court justice that served as the arbitrator, ruled in their favor. The plaintiff was also awarded court costs.

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