City nursing home faces $2M lawsuit Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center accused of wrongful death by estate executor

WINCHESTER — Health care workers at a nursing home caused a resident’s death two years ago by giving her blood-thinning drugs, a recently filed lawsuit claims.


Mary Ellen Hillyard was admitted to Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center, 380 Millwood Ave., on June 13, 2008. Hillyard suffered a “massive hemorrhage” and died Sept. 22, 2008, according to the complaint filed Tuesday in Winchester Circuit Court by city attorney Robert B. Guntharp.


The plaintiff, Charles L. McDaniel, identified in the wrongful death lawsuit as the executor of Hillyard’s estate, seeks $2 million from the defendants.


Pinnacle Services Winchester Inc. operates and manages the facility, according to the complaint. Long Term Care Properties LLC of Harrisonburg owns the building. Both are named as defendants in the complaint, along with Winchester doctors Lewis A. Rogatnick and David A. Epstein.


“While Mrs. Hillyard was a resident of the nursing home the employees and agents of Pinnacle and LTC Properties Inc. deviated from the standard of care, while acting within the scope of their employment, by contemporaneously administering duplicative and contraindicated anticoagulant medications to Mrs. Hillyard, to include Coumadin, aspirin, and Plavix, thereby causing her to suffer a massive hemorrhage which proximately caused her death,” the complaint states.


Pinnacle and Long Term Care controlled management and health care decisions made concerning the residents, including Hillyard, and authorized the daily work of the center’s employees. The two firms provided an administrator, a medical doctor, nurses and staff, the suit states. They also provided the policies and procedures that governed staff performance and delivery of care, according to the plaintiff.


“Specifically, [the firms] represented that they would provide a qualified and properly credentialed physician to manage her health care, and that they would provide nursing staff of sufficient numbers, properly supervised, trained and equipped to meet the total care and needs of Mrs. Hillyard,” the complaint states. “On this basis, Mrs. Hillyard was entrusted to their care.”


The suit states Pinnacle and Long Term Properties had “a duty to comply with a minimum standard of care” for Hillyard.


The other two counts, against Rogatnick and Epstein, claim the doctors had a duty to review orders for the blood thinning medications administered to Hillyard, to monitor her lab results and to discontinue or adjust the anticoagulants as needed to maintain therapeutic levels. The doctors failed to review her medications and ordered the administration of the three drugs that caused her death, the complaint states.


The plaintiff seeks $2 million in compensatory damages from the defendants and has demanded a jury trial.


By Alex Bridges –


Published on 23/09/2010 16:11:44