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Care Home Owner Faces More Legal Trouble

Feb 5, 2002 |

The Greenville nursing home owner who is charged with abusing her patients could also face civil lawsuits from many of those people.

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Essie Wright is charged with seven counts of abuse of a vulnerable adult and her license to run a care facility was taken away last month.

One of the patients that she is accused of abusing is Michael Howard, a 55-year-old mentally disabled man who lived at the E.M. Wright Care Center.

Howard had to have both of his legs amputated after sores on them became gangrenous and infested with maggots.

"She took away Michael's ability to walk," Howard's cousin Pat Stewart told WYFF News 4's Beth Brotherton. "If I hadn't got him out of there when I did, he would've been dead by that weekend. He had gangrene and she hadn't taken him to a doctor."

Stewart's attorney, Les Hendricks, said that he plans to file a lawsuit against Essie Wright later this week.

"We can't get his legs back, but our goal is to stop this kind of abuse from happening at least in this area," Hendricks told News 4.

Hendricks said that documents from Attorney General Charlie Condon's office include complaints against Wright filed in 1999.

He said that he has asked family court judge Amy Sutherlin to allow all of Wright's former patients to sue her collectively.

Hendricks said that he has not heard about the move for the class-action designation, but adds that Howard's injuries are so much more severe than other victims that it may be in his best interest to file on his own.

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