Woman wins $7 million in lawsuit against nursing home

Grace Fugate sued Hillcrest Nursing Home claiming an act of negligence changed her life forever.

The then 67-year-old woman moved into the Corbin nursing home in July 2003 for what she thought would be a relatively short stay to recover from knee surgery. But on August 9th, when she says she needed help going to the restroom “the aide came in and she told Grace she knew she could transfer herself, that she was ‘busy, she had other things to do, get up and get to the potty,” said Annette Morgan White, Fugate’s attorney.

White says Fugate then fell and damaged her knee even worse.

“She lay there and lost so much blood, she had to be resuscitated when she got to Baptist Regional Medical Center,”said White.

The injury was so bad that 6 years later she lost her entire leg. “But it just became too much for her to handle, the knee was never going to be the stable, and so she decided to have it amputated,” said White.

Fugate sued and her attorney says they argued that the aide that refused to help her get to the bathroom was uncertified and showed a history of poor work habits. “There is not a doubt in my mind that she had been written up, she was aggravated and she took it out on Grace,” said White.

A Laurel Circuit Court jury agreed with Fugate’s side of the story and awarded her more than $7 million in damages. Fugate’s attorney says that if she can collect all the money, Fugate wants to hire a nurse and move into a private home.

Hillcrest Nursing Home was represented by the Tipton and Tipton Law Firm. A call there Friday was not returned.

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