November 24, 2010 – Polk County, IA – A nursing home in Grinnell has been ordered to pay nearly half a million dollars to the estate of a man who died at the home. According to reports in the Des Moines Register, in June of 2009, Wilbur Jackson, 89, a retired farmer, was taken to Friendship Manor Care Center in Grinnell. Jackson’s stay was meant to be temporary, as he needed short-term assistance with his recovery and rehabilitation following hip surgery. When Jackson had to travel to a local hospital for tests, an ambulance was called to transport him from Friendship Manor. The paramedics, from Midwest Ambulance Service of Iowa, secured Jackson in the gurney and began to roll him from his room to the vehicle. At this point, Jackson was conscious and joking with the paramedics. The accident happened as Jackson’s gurney was wheeled outside of Friendship Manor’s entrance. The wheels of the gurney fell into a crack in the walkway, the gurney overturned and Jackson suffered head injuries when he hit the pavement. He was in a coma from that time until he died on July 5, 2009. Jackson’s family sued the owners of Friendship Manor along with Midwest Ambulance. Last week, a Polk County jury awarded the family $546,386 in damages. Ninety percent of the damages ―$491,747― is to be paid by Friendship Manor. The remaining $54,639 is to be paid by Midwest Ambulance. Following this incident, the federal government fined Friendship Manor for an additional $3,250.
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