LANCASTER – According to Lancaster County court records, the estate administrators of a deceased Pennsylvania man have reached a six-figure settlement with the elder care facility they allege was negligent in causing his broken neck and subsequent death.

On Dec. 12, an order from Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas Judge David L. Ashworth directed plaintiffs Cindy Simmons and Felicia L. Lacey to enter into a settlement with Harrison Senior Living for $175,000. Per the order, the settlement checks were to be drafted within 20 days and certified by the plaintiffs within 60 days after approval. Such certification was received by the court on Jan. 17, and settlement proceeds were to be distributed as follows:

Churchill Huston Law (Counsel Fees of 40%) – $70,000

Churchill Huston Law (Reimbursement of Costs) – $3,021.06

Medicare (Reduced From $23,746.48) – $13,838.02

Wrongful Death Claim

To: Phyllis Marks – $20,119.18

To: Lucinda Simmons – $20,119.18

To: Felicia Lacey – $20,119.18

Survival Claim

To: Cindy Simmons and Felicia L. Lacey, Administratrixes of the Estate of Walter Thomas Marks, Deceased – $40,238.38  

Simmons and Lacey, Administratrixes of the Estate of Walter Thomas Marks, both of Cochranville, initially filed suit on March 17, 2017 in the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, versus Harrison Senior Living, Inc., Harrison Senior Living, L.P. and Harrison Senior Living Holdings, LLC, all of Coatesville, plus Harrison Senior Living of Christiana, LLC, in Christiana.

“On June 17, 2016, Walter Marks was admitted to Harrison Senior Living for a five-day respite stay. Upon admission, the facility was aware that Walter Marks was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, anxiety, enlarged prostate, hypothyroid, anemia and vitamin deficiency, and was described as forgetful,” the suit said, noting Marks was at risk for injurious falls due to these conditions.

Through June 18-20, 2016, Walter Marks fell on two occasions, suffering an abrasion on his head and was unable to describe how he fell either time. It is unclear whether he suffered a third fall on June 21. After this fall, Marks “complained of pain to his left hip and he was moaning and grimacing when moved.”

Supposedly, according to the complaint, defendants did not assess him for a hip fracture or order an X-Ray. On June 22, 2016, Marks was transported home and the following day, his family took him to Jennersville Regional Medical Center due to complaints of hip pain.

“An X-Ray revealed a left femoral neck fracture. On June 24, 2016, Mr. Marks’ left hip was surgically repair with a gamma nail procedure. On July 26, 2016, Walter Marks died,” the complaint read.

The suit listed a number of citations the defendant facility received from the Commonwealth for improper care and among many charges, and the plaintiffs concurred the defendants failed to provide a safe environment and implement proper care towards Marks, including timely fall prevention, which they allege ultimately resulted in his death.

Prior to settlement, for charges of negligence, corporate negligence, vicarious liability, survival and wrongful death, the plaintiffs were seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus punitive damages, costs, expenses and pre-judgment delay damages in this matter.

The plaintiffs were represented by Churchill H. Huston of Churchill Huston Law, in Philadelphia.

The defendants were represented by Mark P. Merlini of Marks O’Neill O’Brien Doherty & Kelly, also in Philadelphia.

Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas case CI-17-02453

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas




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