PATTY JENNINGS, AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF ELIZA JENNINGS, DECEASED, AND ON BEHALF OF THE WRONGFUL DEATH BENEFICIARIES OF ELIZA JENNINGS APPELLANT
BEREA AREA DEVELOPMENT, LLC, d/b/a THE TERRACE NURSING & REHABILITATION FACILITY APPELLEE
FROM MADISON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE JEAN CHENAULT LOGUE,
JUDGE ACTION NO. 10-CI-00551
FOR APPELLANT: Corey T. Fannin Ross F. Mann Lexington,
FOR APPELLEES: Calvin R. Fulkerson T. Chad Thompson
BEFORE: CLAYTON, CHIEF JUDGE; ACREE AND J. LAMBERT, JUDGES.
LAMBERT, J., JUDGE.
Jennings, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Eliza
Jennings, deceased, and on behalf of the Wrongful Death
Beneficiaries of Eliza Jennings (the Estate), appeals from a
judgment of the Madison Circuit Court granting a new trial to
Berea Area Development, LLC, d/b/a The Terrace Nursing and
Rehabilitation Facility (the Terrace) after a jury verdict in
favor of the Estate.The Estate argues that the circuit court
abused its discretion in granting the Terrace's motion
and that, at most, it should have granted only a partial
retrial. We find no abuse of discretion. Based on the recent
decision of the Kentucky Supreme Court in Overstreet v.
Kindred Nursing Centers Ltd. P'ship, 479 S.W.3d 69
(Ky. 2015), we conclude that, as the statutory duties merely
codify the common-law standard of care and do not survive the
death of the resident, the circuit court properly set aside
the jury verdict and ordered a new trial. Hence, we affirm.
relevant facts of this appeal are not in dispute. The Terrace
is a long-term care facility located in Berea, Kentucky. In
2004, Eliza Jennings, no longer able to care for herself,
became a resident of the Terrace. At the time of her
admission, Jennings was 85 years old. She remained there,
except for hospitalizations in the interim, until her death
on January 15, 2009.
April 2010, the Estate brought this action against the Terrace,
alleging negligence, medical negligence, corporate
negligence, wrongful death, and violations of the long-term
Residents' Rights Act, Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS)
216.515. The parties conducted extensive discovery and
engaged in motion practice over the next five years.
matter proceeded to a jury trial on June 15, 2015. The trial
lasted eight days. At the conclusion of the evidence, the
jury found that the Terrace breached the duties it owed to
Jennings. The jury also found that the Terrace's failure
to observe these duties was a substantial factor in causing
Jennings' injuries and hastened her death. The verdict
was apportioned as follows:
• Physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss
of enjoyment of life until the time of death: $4, 000,
• Deprivation or infringement of right to be free from
chemical and physical restraints except in emergencies or
except as thoroughly justified in writing by a physician for
a specified and limited period of time and documented in the
resident's medical record: $500, 000.00.
• Failure to treat the resident with consideration,
respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality,
including privacy in treatment and in care for personal
needs: $2, 000, 000.00.
• Failure to inform the resident and responsible party
or family member or guardian of the resident's medical
condition unless medically contraindicated and documented by
a physician in the ...