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Jun 16, 2016 6:20 PM

Family loses wrongful death lawsuit against Nashua nursing home

NASHUA - A family who took on a major healthcare company in a wrongful death lawsuit has lost their case.

A jury heard testimony from doctors, experts and one of the daughters of a man whose family said he died after he developed severe bedsores.

Byam Whitney, 87, was admitted to Greenbriar Terrace in 2011. A short time later he was rushed to the hospital, and found to have numerous bedsores. His cause of death was sepsis, which occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammation throughout the body.

The Whitney family filed a lawsuit against Greenbriar and its parent company, Kindred Healthcare Inc., which is on the Forbes Fortune 500 list.

Attorneys for the family said Kindred was liable in Whitney's death and asked a jury to award them $4.35 million in compensation.

A jury deliberated for about two hours Thursday and returned with a not guilty verdict.

"The family respects the jury’s decision," said Ben Gideon, an attorney with Berman & Simmons. "The family was proud of the case that we presented and the issues that we raised to the attention of the jury and to the public here in Nashua about safety in nursing homes."

Attorneys for Kindred and Greenbriar maintained Whitney had many complicating health issues and they were not responsible for his death.

"While we wish the Whitney family well, we were very glad that the attentive and diligent jury understood Greenbriar’s commitment to good care for its patients," said Bradley D. Holt, an attorney with Devine, Millimet & Branch. "These cases can be challenging and complex, and I was glad to share the news of the verdict with Greenbriar’s hard working care team."

Family members said Whitney served in the Army during the Korean War and enjoyed playing the bagpipes.

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