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Nursing Home Settles Negligence Lawsuit

Mar 21, 2003 | AP

Survivors of a former nursing home patient have settled a lawsuit that charged the home with negligence.

The family of the late Edith C. Jaird had sued the 56-bed Gill Odd Fellows Home over injuries they claimed Jaird had suffered while under care at the home in 1999.

The parties in the lawsuit would not release the details of the settlement, under a confidentiality agreement. Jaird's daughter, Barbara Berry, said the family was pleased with the outcome.

"There was cover-up and there was negligence, and we came away with a smile on our face," she said.

The lawsuit, brought by daughter Patricia Merrill of Enfield, N.H., on behalf of herself and other relatives, claimed that a medical aide had tried to lift Jaird alone, instead of with the help of another aide as required by regulations.

Jaird fell, suffering a broken leg and other injuries, the complaint said. It wasn't until two days later, the family claimed, that care providers at the home realized Jaird had been injured.

She was suffering from dementia, and hadn't been able to speak about her injuries, the lawsuit said.

At least two surgeries and a painful recovery followed, according to the family. The two sides settled the case between jury drawing Monday and the scheduled start of the trial Wednesday.

Gill Administrator Joseph Girouard said he didn't yet know the details of the settlement and referred questions to attorney John Monahan of Burlington.

Monahan wouldn't discuss the case. "The matter is settled and all of the terms of the settlement are confidential," he said.

Jaird was born and raised in Brandon as Edith Casey. She earned a teaching degree at Castleton Normal School, and taught at the Smithville School for years. She married Francis Jaird in 1933.

She died in March 2000 of pneumonia at the age of 91.

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