Litigation Project


McCreary County man sues nursing home and state for violation of rights

(McCreary County, KY) Elmus Campbell, an 84-year old resident of a nursing home in Pine Knot, Kentucky, filed a lawsuit on November 9, 2007, for damages against the nursing home and its parent company and for damages and injunctive relief against Kentucky state officials after he was evicted from his nursing home in violation of his nursing home rights under Kentucky law.

The lawsuit, filed in Franklin Circuit Court (Civil Action No. 07-CI-1816), names as defendants EPI Healthcare, LLC, d/b/a McCreary County Health and Rehabilitation Center (”McCreary”) (the nursing home), EPI Corporation (its parent company), Robert H. Loeffler (the president of EPI Corporation), Mark Birdwhistell (Secretary of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services) and Steven D. Davis (Inspector General of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services). The Cabinet for Health and Family Services, through the Inspector General, is responsible for licensing, inspecting and regulating all long-term care facilities in Kentucky, and for enforcing the rights of nursing home residents.

Kentucky law requires that nursing homes give residents advance written notice of discharge and notice of appeal rights. In addition, for Medicaid eligible individuals, Kentucky regulations require that nursing homes hold a bed for a hospitalized resident for up to fourteen days and readmit a resident whose hospitalization exceeds the bed hold period to the first available bed. Mr. Campbell was transferred to a hospital on August 25, 2007 without any notice of transfer or discharge. Two days later, the nursing home refused to readmit him and refused to readmit him for 52 days, in spite of an Administrative Law Judge’s ruling that summarily reversed the discharge and found the nursing home had violated Mr. Campbell’s rights. The Office of Inspector General failed to issue a citation, impose monetary penalties or institute injunctive proceedings in court to enforce compliance.

Mr. Campbell seeks actual and punitive damages against McCreary, its parent corporation and its president Robert H. Loeffler for violating his nursing home rights under Kentucky law. Mr. Campbell also seeks injunctive relief against the Cabinet and the Office of Inspector General to require them to issue a citation and impose maximum penalties against McCreary for each day that they illegally refused to readmit him. EPI Corporaion is the largest provider of nursing home care in Kentucky. It owns and operates approximately 22 nursing facilities with over 2,000 beds.

For more information contact: Anne Marie Regan, Kentucky Equal Justice Center, 502-584-0349, or Patsy Decker, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, 606-679-7313. For a copy of the complaint click here: Campbell nursing home complaint.doc. Or see Courier Journal coverage "Nursing home sued by patient"

Child Protective Services Issues

Over the past year, the legal services Family Law Task Force has looked at the problems parents confront when they become involved in the Child Protective Services system and face court proceedings in Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights cases. The Task Force has discussed whether legal services programs should get back into the business of representing parents in these proceedings as a way to monitor problems in the system and to advocate for needed changes.

During the same time, several studies and reports have exposed systemic problems in the state's handling of CPS cases, including the claim that it favors “quick trigger” adoptions. See: