Extendicare may be turning over its two local Richmond nursing homes to another operator this month, but the wrongful death and negligent care lawsuits involving Kenwood Health and Rehabilitation Center continue to be filed in Madison County.
Extendicare, the company that operates both Kenwood and Madison Manor, announced in May that it planned on leasing all 21 of its Kentucky nursing homes to “an experienced third-party, long-term care operator based in Texas,” according to a company news release.
The release quoted a company official who said the reason for leaving the state was because of “the combination of a worsening litigation environment and the lack of any likelihood of tort reform in the State of Kentucky.”
Since the beginning of this year, five wrongful death suits and one negligent care suit have been filed against Extendicare in the Madison County Circuit Clerk’s office.
They are:
• Sandra Baumgardner, administratrix of the estate of Ethel E. Rains, stated in her complaint that Rains was admitted Sept. 4, 2009, to Kenwood, and she died March 25, 2011. The complaint alleges Rains suffered pressure ulcers, multiple infections, falls with injuries, severe dehydration, extreme weight fluctuation, malnutrition, poor hygiene and death. 
• Carol Dooly, administratrix of the estate of Donna Meeks, said in her complaint that Meeks died in December 2011 after staying at Kenwood. The complaint alleges that Meeks suffered accelerated deterioration of her health because of negligent care, including a significant delay in treating a hip fracture, dehydration, medication errors, compromised nutrition and weight loss.
• Mary E. Davis, executrix of the estate of James E. Davis, alleged in her complaint that after Davis was admitted Aug. 15 to Kenwood for a short-term stay following a fall at home, his health quickly worsened.
“While there, the doctor’s orders were not followed, and he suffered significant weight loss and a urinalysis performed on or about Aug. 19 revealed a severe untreated urinary tract infection,” the complaint states.
After 18 days at the facility, the family became alarmed by his declining mental and physical condition, and over staff protests, insisted that Davis be transferred to Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center’s emergency room, the complaint said.
At the ER, Davis was diagnosed with urosepsis, dehydration and acute renal failure, the complaint stated. Davis was placed in intensive care, and he died 43 days later.
• Yvonne Sams, executrix of the estate of William Witt, alleged in her complaint that Witt was admitted May 20, 2011, to Kenwood. He was taken to St. Joseph Berea for treatment July 11, 2011 and died July 14, according to the complaint.
Witt suffered accelerated deterioration of his health due to negligence including bruises, skin tears, weight loss, urinary tract infections, aspiration pneumonia and death, the complaint stated.
• Gary Newby, administrator of the estate of Nora E. Chapple, stated in his complaint that Chapple was admitted June 2, 2011, to Kenwood and died Aug. 15. While there, Chapple suffered bruises, pressure ulcers, falls, weight loss, urinary tract infections, overmedication and death, according to the complaint.
• Charlie Nichols stated in his complaint that since becoming a resident of Kenwood on Dec. 13, 2011, he has suffered from pressure ulcers, amputation of his left leg below his knee, skin abrasions, falls, weight loss, infections of pressure ulcers, cellulitis, urinary tract infections and poor hygiene.
Nichols is still a resident of Kenwood, according to the complaint.
In 2011, 10 civil suits were filed against Extendicare in Madison County, and two were filed in 2010, according to the Court of Justice website. 
In the counties where Extendicare has operated nursing homes, there are currently at least 43 civil lawsuits pending against the company, all filed since 2009, according to the Court of Justice database.
Sams, Baumgardner, Newby and Nichols all are represented by the law firm of Wilkes & McHugh, P.A., which is a “pioneer” in nursing home abuse litigation, according to the attorneys’ website. The firm has an office in Lexington.
In 2010, the law firm won a $42.75 million verdict against a Madisonville nursing home because a 92-year-old man became “lethally dehydrated” when the staff failed to ensure he got enough water, according to the Wilkes & Hughes, P.A., website.
Kenwood Health and Rehabilitation Center, 130 Meadowlark Drive, is a 92-bed facility, according to the federal Medicare website, www.medicare.gov. During its most recent inspection in August, the nursing home was cited for not having enough nurses to care for every resident “in a way that maximizes the resident’s well being,” according to the website.
The facility also was cited for not providing care that “keeps or builds each resident’s dignity and respect of individuality,” failing to prepare nutritional, well-cooked and tasty food and for having three environmental deficiencies, according to the inspection report on medicare.gov.
All problems were corrected by Oct. 8, according to the report. Overall, Kenwood has a three star out of five star rating based on the health inspection rating, the staffing rating, and the quality measures rating, according to Medicare.gov.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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