$1.9 million Jury Verdict for Victim of Nursing Home Neglect

In 2002 Barbara Reed of Brandon, Mississippi hired Philip to investigate nursing home abuse and neglect suffered by her sister Sarah Lewis at the Beverly Inglewood nursing home in Jackson, Mississippi. During Sarah’s nine month residency at the Beverly Facility she fell numerous times, suffered an unexplained burn, lost the ability to walk and suffered a general decline in her physical condition.

During discovery it was determined that the nursing home neglected Sarah due to under-staffing. Nursing home records showed that the facility was over 12,000 hours understaffed during Sarah’s residency. Due to the under-staffing facility employees chemically sedated Sarah to make her easier to care for and did not provide restorative care ordered by Sarah’s physician.

Philip associated Jackson attorney Pieter Teeuwissen to serve as co-counsel at trial. Beverly brought in its national trial counsel to try the case. At the conclusion of a two week trial in the Circuit Court of Hinds County a jury returned a verdict of $400,000 in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages. The defendants appealed and a new trial was ordered so that the jury could apportion fault between the two defendants who were part of the same corporate family. The defendants settled the case on the eve of the second trial.

“Mr. Thomas was one of the most honest people/attorneys we have ever encountered. It would have been really easy for him to take this case, collect tens of thousands in fees, because of our feelings and knowledge of the obvious negligence at the facility. However, he was very upfront about an eventual outcome and advised us instead to make complaints to proper authorities, hoping that this kind of tragedy can be prevented in the future with other helpless patients. He was truly one of the most impressive people we have met, in any profession.”