A Buffalo Center nursing home ordered to pay $6 million in a lawsuit filed over the death of an elderly resident, has settled a second lawsuit for an undisclosed amount. The family of Virginia Olthoff filed the lawsuit against Timely Mission Nursing Home in 2019. Olthoff lived at the home before her death in February 2018, at the age of 87.
A doctor found Olthoff had not received any liquids for days and likely had very little liquid intake for several weeks. He death led U.S. Sen. Cruck Grassley to ask federal officials to investigate the home and Medicare records show the facility was fined more than $50,000 later that year.
The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial in January, but on January 19th, Olthoff’s family filed a notice that the case had been settled. Olthoff’s daughter, longtime Iowa Public Radio Journalist Pat Blank, said in a statement that the lawsuit sought to recover medical and funeral expenses for her mother, as well as punitive damages for Olthoff’s suffering.
The amount of the settlement is confidential, Blank said.
The settlement comes after a previous lawsuit against Timely Mission resulted in a $6 million jury verdict. Darlene Weaver, 83, died in June 2017. Weaver suffered a broken shoulder and him in a fall before she died, and the family accused Timely Mission of not only failing to take preventative steps despite a history of falls, but of mismanaging her medications and failing to protect her from an abusive nursing assistant.
Attorney Pressley Henningsen, who represented both families, said at the time, the judgement was the largest he was aware of in any Iowa nursing home negligence case.