Jury awards family of Paducah nursing-home patient $2.2 million for negligence; defense attorney says the case isn’t over

Mary Opal Moore

A jury ordered a Paducah nursing home Aug. 9 to pay more than $2.2 million in damages “for gross negligence and failure to provide proper care to a 92-year-old woman with dementia,” reports Dave Thompson of The Paducah Sun.

Mary Opal Moore lived at Superior Care Home for “just over three months in 2014 and 2015,” Thompson reports. The lawsuit by her family alleged that she received inadequate care and was evicted after she qualified for Medicaid, which generally pays less than providers’ costs, and that those acts led to her death less than a month later, by accelerating her mental and physical decline.
Louisville attorney Tad Thomas told Thompson after the trial that the family took Moore to the home at a cost of more than $9,000 a month partly because it advertised a new “memory-care facility” with “specialists who knew how to care for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s” disease, but the treatment was inadequate.
“She was needing more care, and at the same time the facility was going to make a lot less money,” Thomas said.

The McCracken Circuit Court jury awarded $1,625,000 in punitive damages and more than $580,000 in compensatory damages for pain, suffering and medical expenses.

“Paducah attorney Eddie Jones, who represented the nursing home and its owners Helen Sims and Michael Sims, said expert witnesses testified the nursing home provided ‘exceptional care,’ and also disputed the idea that Moore was kicked out due to her Medicaid status,” Thompson reports. “Jones said . . . the facility was attempting to transfer her to another facility’s geriatric unit with her doctor’s agreement.”

Jones told the Sun that he expects post-trial litigation. That could include an appeal to the state Court of Appeals or a motion to set aside the verdict.

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