For five years, a grandmother from Preston County, West Virginia was a thriving resident at Heartland of Preston County, a 120-bed nursing home in Kingwood. While she could not move about independently, she enjoyed daily visits from family and attended social events both inside and outside of the center, even attending her granddaughter’s outdoor wedding in a state forest.
In 2012, while a staff member was using a lift to move her into bed, this vibrant woman fell and sustained massive injuries, including a broken femur, fractured hip and pelvis. Her health declined tremendously after her fall, she was no longer able to sit up in a wheelchair and was only able to lie in bed. She could not hold onto things well or feed herself. She wasn’t able to go outside or visit with family.
She died six months after her fall due to the complications from her injuries. The nursing home employees blamed her for the fall, but that was a lie.
Wilson, Frame and Metheney’s investigation revealed that the nursing home employees were not trained nor did they follow the operating manual for the lift used to move her from the chair into the bed. The settlement was more about justice than money. While “not the suing type,” the Administratrix for and daughter-in-law of the grandmother, filed the suit because “patients aren’t supposed to suffer.” In addition to a financial settlement, the lawsuit forced the nursing home to improve medical care at the facility.