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Hospital, care center named in suit by former patient’s family

by Christy Chalmers

Carson-Tahoe Hospital is being sued by the family of a man who lived in its now-defunct Gardnerville Ranchos nursing home.

The lawsuit, filed in Douglas District Court Feb. 12, was drafted by a Carson City attorney who has advertised in the past for plaintiffs and witnesses to potential abuse or neglect at the facility, which has been closed since December 1999.

The Feb. 12 suit was filed by relatives of Donald Moore, who lived at the center between September 1998 and his death in February 1999. The facility was in court-ordered receivership for part of that time.

The complaint alleges negligence, neglect and abuse of an older person and infliction of emotional distress.

Documents say Moore suffered second-degree burns when a cup of hot liquid spilled in his lap in December 1998. The complaint also says Moore did not get adequate physical therapy or basic care and developed pneumonia and bed sores.

The suit claims Moore’s wife Connee suffered emotional stress relating to the care given to her husband.

The suit seeks unspecified special damages and asks the eventual amount be doubled for Rhonda Moore, special administratrix of the estate. Connee Moore is seeking general damages in excess of $10,000 for wrongful death, her husband’s pain and suffering and her own distress, respectively.

The Moores are represented by Carson City attorney George McNally. McNally has sought families of Valley Meadows patients for a possible suit, but he was unavailable to comment on the Moore case.

Valley Meadows, formerly known as Cottonwood Care Center, was plagued by financial problems. Carson-Tahoe Hospital bought it in 1995, then leased it to an Arizona-based company called Premier Care Services in August 1997 after losing money. Premier Care later defaulted on a million-dollar hospital loan.

Valley Meadows went into receivership in October 1998, where it remained until an employee group took over in April 1999.

The group closed the facility in December 1999, citing financial problems.

The facility also was cited at various times by licensing officials for substandard staffing and inadequate care. Fines and admissions freezes were imposed.