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Newspaper Reports on Nursing Home’s Continuing to Provide Adequate Care Even After Highly Publicized Medical Malpractice Death

By Jack H. FarnbauchNovember 20, 2018

An eye-opening article recently published in the Lexington Herald Leader takes a look at Woodcrest Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in Elsmere and how they have not changed their ways since the highly publicized medical malpractice death of Bobby Crail back in 2016. The case of Bobby Crail was so heavily covered by the media because the care provided at Woodcrest was so egregious and blatant. 

Bobby Crail had muscular dystrophy, a progressive disease that erodes muscle mass and causes physical weakness. Bobby lived with the disease for several years with a relatively normal life, including raising two children. But as his condition worsened, Bobby needed help with eating, bathing and other daily activities. He entered the 127-bed Woodcrest in 2009, and according to Bobby’s father, Robert Crail Sr., Woodcrest was fine at the beginning but continued to go downhill quality-wise. Robert Sr. recalls floors were constantly sticky with spilled food and liquids; residents were not bathed regularly. There weren’t enough nurses and nurse’s aides on duty to provide care, Robert Sr. said.

On March 20, 2016, Bobby rolled in his wheelchair towards his favorite spot on the second floor, overlooking a large window. This spot was next to an exit door that led to a stairwell. Nurse’s aide Jessica Stines noticed him at his favorite spot at 11:25 a.m. as she entered another resident’s room. She emerged a few minutes later. Crail was gone.

Bobby’s hands were curled by his muscular dystrophy, so he steered his wheelchair using the two working fingers on his right hand to operate a joystick. He sometimes shot forward and bumped into things. It’s likely he accidentally rolled through the unsecured door, perhaps while trying to turn his chair around in the hallway. The door had a safety lock that was supposed to prevent it from opening, but it was broken that day, as was an alarm that was supposed to blare if someone entered.  

More or less, Woodcrest nurses guessed that Bobby had left the premises on a family visit, although no one had seen Bobby leave the facility nor had anyone signed Bobby out of the facility. No one even went looking for him for the next nine hours. Bobby had tumbled down the stairs and lay dying. By the time Bobby was found, he was deceased.  

For its failure to protect the 45-year-old Crail from harm, Woodcrest was hit with a $73,710 fine from the state of Kentucky, which it paid, and a wrongful death lawsuit from his parents and children, which was settled for an undisclosed sum. Further, according to the article and several people interviewed, Woodcrest has continued to be one of Kentucky’s worst-rated nursing homes since Crail’s death.

In a sharply critical 47-page report issued in February, state inspectors cited a series of problems that “presented an imminent danger and created substantial risk that death or serious mental or physical harm to the residents could occur.” 

You can read more here.