Tennessee High Court Reinstates Damages in Assisted Living Death

By SHEILA BURKE | February 27, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court has reinstated a jury verdict against the management company of a Shelbyville assisted living center in a case involving the death of an 83-year-old woman.

Records say Mable Farrar died after her colon ruptured when a nurse at the Celebration Way center improperly administered an enema.

The decision reinstates a $300,000 compensatory damages award against Americare Systems Inc. The unanimous Supreme Court decision said the daughters presented evidence that supported a Bedford County jury’s finding showing that the center was understaffed and that Americare knew but did not fix it. Records show staff repeatedly disregarded the orders of the elderly woman’s doctor.

The jury also awarded Farrar’s daughters $5 million in punitive damages. The Supreme Court asked a lower court to review that amount.

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