Jury finds nursing home liable in patient’s death

? A Platte County jury has ordered the owner-operator of two nursing facilities to pay more than $3 million to the estate of a former patient who died in 2004.

The verdict stems from a lawsuit alleging that the nursing staff at Barry Manor and White Oak Manor nursing homes were negligent and failed to properly care for John Novogradac of Kansas City.

The facilities are managed by Health Care Management, which is owned by Sharo Shirshekan of Farmington.

Novogradac, who lived at both facilities between 2001 and 2003, developed bedsores on his body during his stay.

Novogradac had to have above-knee amputations on both legs after his wounds became severely infected with dead and gangrenous tissue.

The jury ruled that the nursing homes failed to provide adequate staffing, didn’t attend to Novogradac’s bedsores or turn and reposition him to prevent the problem. They also found the staff didn’t properly treat Novogradac’s wounds and no one monitored his condition or alerted a physician when his condition worsened.

“I really think the jury felt that the operator was not appropriately staffing his facility and felt strongly about sending a message that he had enough staff to meet the needs of the patients,” said Tom Cartmell, attorney for the Novogradac estate.

Messages left Friday for Health Care Management officials were not returned. The Associated Press attempted to reach Shirshekan on Saturday, but there was no listing for his home telephone number.

The jury awarded the estate $500,000 in compensatory damages and more than $2.5 million in punitive damages.