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August 20th, 2010

A jury has awarded an Easton, Massachusetts woman $400,000 for the disfigurement and death of her late stepfather.

John J. Donahue, a former resident of Embassy House nursing home in Brockton, was severly injured when a hook on a machine used to lift him from his bed gouged his left eye. The eye had to be removed and Donahue later died of sepsis due to an infection.

Marlene Owens, stepdaughter to Donahue, fought for years to hold Kindred Healthcare, which owns the nursing home, responsible for nursing home abuse. The jury found nursing home neglect on Kindred’s part was a large contributing factor in the injury to Donahue’s eye. However, they did not hold Kindred responsible for Donahue’s death.

“I feel like I got some closure and some justice for him,” said Owens.

David Hoey, attorney for the Donahue estate, has additionally fought to bring the lawsuit to trial.

“By giving that kind of verdict, the jury is saying this type of conduct is not acceptable in our community, ‘Don’t do it,’ ” said Hoey.

Christopher Lavoie, an attorney for Kindred, commented after the verdict that the incident was an unfortunate accident.


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