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Family of deceased Good Shepherd resident wins thousands in lawsuit


This news story was published on September 27, 2016.
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Good Shepherd, located at 302 2nd St NE, Mason City, IA

Good Shepherd, located at 302 2nd St NE, Mason City, IA

MASON CITY – A jury found in favor of a deceased resident of Good Shepherd nursing home and her family.

Maria Savas O’Brien sued Good Shepherd Nursing home in 2015, alleging negligence and recklessness. She passed away on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, after she had been in the nursing home for over 2 years.

After several jury trial postponements, a jury returned a verdict on September 27, 2016, awarding the surviving family upwards of $900,000 for physical and mental pain and punitive damages.

An appeal is possible in the case.

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50 Responses to Family of deceased Good Shepherd resident wins thousands in lawsuit

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 30, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Once again, Peter has made this issue about himself. This is ridiculous. A wonderful woman died, and no empathy from Peter what so ever to the family that had to endure not only the loss if their mother, but had to go thru so much with Good Shepherd and the horrible care their mother received. My god Peter, will you ever shut up? You are the biggest narcissistic, selfish asshole anyone has ever seen.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 30, 2016 at 9:24 am

      True words here.

    • Peter L Reply Report comment

      September 30, 2016 at 10:02 am

      That’s not true at all. The memory of someone’s life has nothing to do with the issue of nursing home abuse nor with giving a perfectly good property to the City of Mason City. Did Mason City donate it to a homeless family? Probably not. They probably sold it at auction and put the money in City Hall’s pocket. It was a short sighted decision on Maria’s part, and if she’s watching, I’m sure she’d agree with me. Her fears about Glenn D making claims on the property are what prompted her to gift it to the city of Mason City.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 30, 2016 at 10:24 am

        You are a sickening person Peter. No wonder everyone despises you.

  2. Tax Payer Reply Report comment

    September 28, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Why do we stick our loved ones in a nursing home to begin with? Nursing homes suck ! I’d rather have access to euthanasia, (self controlled death), than to ever be stuck in a miserable stinking nursing home ! Euthanasia should be legal in all 50 states…abortion is legal ! Just wonder now many other countries stick their elderly in a godforsaken nursing home ?

    • Kay Pasa Reply Report comment

      September 29, 2016 at 6:26 am

      Good luck with medically assisted suicide. The right to life crowd won’t ever permit you to have control over your own body. Just look how they have imprisoned women.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 28, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    My issue with nursing homes is this : You can report to the State Dept. Of Inspections and Appeals and the Nursing home finds out so they can fix things before they arrive. I moved my mother and dad from Good Shepherd due to similar issues. Went to another one and where I reported some major issues…they found out and all my claims were denied. The only thing you can do is be there every day and check everything..Then bug the hell out of the Nursing home Administrator and don’t back down. They do not want to be sued ..this will keep the nurses and aides on their best behavior. It is sad that you have to do that..but you will never regret doing all you can do for your parents. If the food is cold..demand a new meal..if u see a bruise check …if they seem too doped up..have the head nurse check the med records.. If they have left them outside too long. And are freezing or have gotten sunburned..demand an investigation and immediate treatment. They won’t like you much..but ultimately they will respect you..and you will always be able to live with yourself !

    • Common Sense Reply Report comment

      September 30, 2016 at 5:49 am

      You sound like the family from hell. Try this approach with any other service and see what you get in return. You reap what you sow. The next time you need services of any kind do it yourself.

  4. Peter L Reply Report comment

    September 28, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I knew Maria O’brien. She was the former owner of the Poodle Lounge where the Candy Bar once sat. I got along well with Maria. I’m glad she did this. I did not know she undertook this lawsuit. She hopefully paved the way to wider reforms. Institutions such as the Good Shepard and others have been abusing people for decades. Many are kept drugged up on Haldol and unnecessary medications to silence them. The amount is very large and while I applaud the decision, I’m concerned about all those families who won’t receive any of this money. The format for filing lawsuits and dispensing justice and reform is highly flawed in this country. Yes, change needed to happen, but how will giving the O’brien family a million dollars help? The McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit was another example of stupidity in torts. The rich keep getting richer while the poor suffer on. I deserve MILLIONS in damages, but probably will receive nothing because I don’t have the lawyers nor the “reputation” to deem myself worthy of receiving justice. Sometimes I think it would be best if a flood came and wiped it all away so we could start over.

    • Peter L Reply Report comment

      September 28, 2016 at 8:06 am

      What I was dismayed with was hearing Maria had “gifted” a small house next to where Peter John Children lived to the city of Mason City when her Greek aunt passed away. She said she didn’t want to deal with it, but I used to rent from her aunt, and I could have seriously used that house. I did not know she had given it away until it was too late. Again, more evidence of the rich thinking in ways that are different than how the poor think. With a free and clear house, I would have been able to fix it up, sell it and build capital. But to her, it was a piddly tax credit…hardly a passing thought. For a homeless family or individual down at the Northern Lights, it could have meant everything. When will rich people wake up and understand how to think outside their insulated world?

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 28, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        They wouldnt have given you anything. This is a hard working family. They believe in working for what they have. You havent worked a day in your life. You re just out to get whatever you can for nothing.

      • Mike Hunt Reply Report comment

        September 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm

        Once again, he steals the story line and makes it all about poor, pitty, party Peter.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 28, 2016 at 6:59 pm

        Give you Marias house? Next time i see Kris, i will mention it to her. Im sure she will get a good laugh out of that.

      • Theodore Savas Reply Report comment

        September 29, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        You don’t know what you are talking about. My mom, Maria Savas O’Brien, never owned a small house where he “aunt” lived, and never gifted such a house to anyone. If you have records of this, I would love to see them because they would be fraudulent.

        Please let me know how you came by this information.

        • Peter L Reply Report comment

          September 29, 2016 at 6:06 pm

          Sorry Theodore, but Maria told me directly that she didn’t want to deal with it because Glenn D. was nearby and she didn’t want him to get possession of the house so she let the city of Mason City have it as a way out of the situation. As you know Glenn has a record of “acquiring” properties from recently deceased older women. I was the last tenant to live in it, and Glenn knocked out the wall connecting the small attached apartment i lived in to the rest of the house once i vacated. You must have been out of the loop on that one, but it did happen.

      • Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

        September 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        ” When will rich people wake up and understand how to think outside their insulated world?”

        Again, as always, you are talking out of your ass. You lament how “rich people” do things but yet, you wanted someone to GIVE you a house for free so….”I would have been able to fix it up, sell it and build capital.”

        Why worry about any of this since you are on the fast track to becoming the next leader of the US Military. Why not let the government take care of all your needs? Much like it does now, only you’ll have a uniform with sparkly stuff on it.

        • Peter L Reply Report comment

          September 29, 2016 at 6:15 pm

          Buzz I earned my Army ROTC keychain necklace w/ carabiner for getting a correct answer yesterday. I hope to earn more “swagger” as Major puts it. You can pin a medal on my uniform if you like…a good citizen / activist award. I’m sure you’ll think of something.

          • Anonymous

            September 29, 2016 at 11:08 pm

            Wow, a lanyard. I can go into any camo shop and buy those same lanyards. No one cares Petey.

          • Anonymous

            September 29, 2016 at 11:21 pm

            I am so tired of hearing Peter say that nursing homes are drugging their residents. That is an extremely old practice After the Regan administration, nursing homes changed ALOT. Theres many time people go in for hip surgeries, shoulder surgeries, etc. And pain meds are rarely given unless its just short term. Most doctors only prescribe tylenol for these people after surgery. I have worked in this industry for many years and drugging is considered a restraint and against the law. You have no clue what you are talking about as usual. I have nothing good to say about Good Shepherd, but the facilities dont prescribe the medications, doctors do. And theres very strict regulations when it comes to prescribing pain medications. You know nothing about rules and regulations, so just shut up.

          • Peter L

            September 30, 2016 at 5:09 am

            You are absolutely full of shit. Facilities still drug patients with powerful neuroleptics like Haldol to shut them up so nurses can get back to socializing on the internet. Doctors prescribe based on the requests of the nurses and workers since they spend all but 3 minutes with a patient once a week if that. Stop spreading your lies and start taking responsibility for your corrupt industry…ASSHOLE.

          • Anonymous

            September 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm

            Residents and patients are not being drugged. You dont know squat about anything. Drugged so the nurses can sit socializing? So, in Peters world, he slams the nursing industry, slams doctors, gee, I hope you never need a nurse or doctor to save your sorry ass. And his big mouth doesnt stop there. He has made false accusations against Todd Blodgett, also against the Kuhn family and now slams the Savas family. You have shown exactly what a horrible person you are. A loser asshole. Someday Peter you will reap the whirlwind. And you certainly will deserve it.

    • John Reply Report comment

      September 28, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Peter, you dumb ass, Maria didn’t bring the lawsuit, she died, her family brought the lawsuit. I guess you are too stupid to comprehend that. I am glad that they got some kind of compensation. Leave it to you to think that someone would want to give you a house and consider someone that owns a house to be “rich people.”

      • Peter L Reply Report comment

        September 28, 2016 at 7:49 pm

        Regardless, the point is the wealthy get justice and compensation while the poor languish on and receive nothing. The judge on this case should have been smart enough to ascertain that if one older person was treated poorly, then many others were as well. But no, close to a million bucks will line the pockets of people who were already wealthy to begin with. And as far as that house goes…she literally gave it away. I was the last tenant living in that place before Mariente passed away. Maria said she didn’t want to deal with it so she gave it to the city of Mason City. I mean wow. The city of Mason City doesn’t need it…but many homeless families sure as hell could have. Now her estate is going to receive 1 million bucks unless Good Shepard appeals. I’m unsure on how I feel about this verdict. I almost kind of want Good Shepard to win the appeal. 1 million bucks is way too much to be given to one family when so many others suffered and probably still suffer. Class Action lawsuit is what needed to happen. Judges are just as corrupt and dimwitted as so many other factions of this so-called “society’.

        • Theodore Savas Reply Report comment

          September 29, 2016 at 3:02 pm

          Let’s stop this crap right now.

          1) Maria never owned any house other than the one she lost on Willowbrook Drive when a pipe the city “capped” burst and destroyed nearly all her belongings and memories in 2012. She never even got back fair value.

          2) The Savas family is very middle class. Wealthy? Are you serious?

          3) Most people have no idea that the STATE takes 70% of a punitive damage claim. Yes, you read that correctly. 70%. And the balance IS TAXED. We get almost nothing.

          4) The Savas family brought this suit to bring awareness to what is happening at nursing homes, and with the hope the administrator and CEO (Svete and Stockberger) will be replaced with competent people who know what they are doing and care about the residents. The money was and is irrelevant.

          5) Unless you were in the court room every day, and heard all the evidence, don’t tell us what happened, or what should have happened. We know the truth. So does Good Shepherd. And now, so does the community.

          • John

            September 29, 2016 at 6:01 pm

            Very well stated Theodore Savis, I am glad you brought light to this very important situation for all families with loved ones in Nursing homes. Makes me sick that Peter would complain that some “rich” person didn’t give him a home that didn’t even belong to Maria as you stated. He is another sad story. So sorry to hear what Maria went through, she was such a good person.

          • Theodore Savas

            September 29, 2016 at 6:10 pm

            Thank you, John. It was much worse than anyone except the jury and Good Shepherd know. I am penning an editorial for the Globe–a plea to keep an eye on the elderly, and especially those who have no one to watch out for them.

            As for some rundown house someone is rambling on about–it is not even worth discussing and I won’t.

          • Peter L

            September 29, 2016 at 6:12 pm

            70%? That doesn’t seem legal. I’m relying on others to chime in if they know whether this figure is correct. I’ve known about the corruption of institutions for a long time now. I remember when a facility killed Ace Kazanas with all that doped up crap. He had a bicycle injury that somewhat affected his brain, but the drugs they gave him are ultimately what killed him. It’s criminal. Kudos to your lawsuit if it brings about significant change. We all are going to get old and probably end up in something similar unless change starts occurring now. Even Peter Children understands the wisdom of that…and he’s usually a self serving asshole.

          • E8

            September 29, 2016 at 8:39 pm

            Peter — why not be a man for once and apologize to the Savas family and admit you are wrong and that you are a liar. Funny to watch you dance around the true facts and act like you are happy for them when in fact all you wanted to do was take from them. You are truly a sick disturbed little boy. You make me afraid for your parents.

          • Anonymous

            September 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm

            Peter, havent you pissed off enough people? The Blodgetts, the Kuhns, and now the Savas’s. You are embarassing your parents..again. Dont you think they will find out that now youre harassing the Savas family? The greek community doesnt like you as it is, youre just making it worse for yourself.

          • Anonymous

            September 29, 2016 at 10:44 pm

            I hope Ted calls your parents. They need to know what a nut job their little Peter poopy pants is.

          • Peter L

            September 30, 2016 at 5:21 am

            Apologize for what? It’s true what I wrote. Maria inherited her deceased aunt’s small house and she gifted it to the city of Mason city for a tax credit and to avoid dealing with Glenn who was making moves to acquire it. She despised Glenn and his “ways”. My points stand, despite how uncomfortable the truth may make you feel. Homeless families could have used that house, not assholes down at city hall. Wake up and accept responsibility that I’m right and you are all WRONG.

          • Anonymous

            September 30, 2016 at 10:05 am

            should we turn the mall into a homeless shelter? They aren’t using it. Your logic is still fundamentally flawed.

          • Anonymous

            September 30, 2016 at 10:27 am

            @Theodore, Peter wont ever stop. I believe we all answer for what we did in this life. Peter will be burning in hell.

          • Ted Savas

            September 30, 2016 at 10:31 am

            That’s okay. I have no idea who he is, and I don’t care. I know the truth, and you and others can figure it out fairly easily. He seems to thrive on the negative attention. Just turn off his fuel source.

  5. Reality Check Reply Report comment

    September 28, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Attorney fees are not a deductible expense.
    Compensatory proceeds are non-taxable, they have no impact on a federal tax return. However, if there are any additional proceeds that are awarded such as punitive damages, payments for emotional distress, or awards for lost wages, those payments are considered income and are subject to income tax.

  6. Katie Reply Report comment

    September 28, 2016 at 12:20 am

    1. Wrongful death jury awards are not taxable from what I found.

    2. It is not advisable to move a person who is already confused to a new environment.

    3. The nursing home did not even keep any records for this poor woman for a MONTH. That is simply inexcusable. No vitals, weight, care notes, NOTHING.

    4. I have had several close relatives in care centers and was kept apprised of every minor mishap and medical issue.

    5. I frequented the Poodle occasionally back in the 70’s and Marie never forgot what I drank. It breaks my heart to think she did not get the “customer service” she gave to everyone who came into her establishment.

    • mint Reply Report comment

      September 28, 2016 at 5:58 am

      Good points Katie.

    • My real name Reply Report comment

      September 28, 2016 at 9:23 am

      All good points Katie. Theres no excuse for not keeping records for a month. My question us, did they not keep records, or did they delete those records trying to hide something? Either way it shows clear negligence on good sheperhds behalf. The director of nursing’s testimony clearly shows she should not be in an administrative position. I have a friend that was at Good Shepherd and called the ombudsman on a few occassions and wrote them a letter about the care from the aides and cleaniness of the facility. This case wasnt about money. It was about holding the facility and administration accountable. Now, i hope state officials come in and clean house.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 27, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Wow, this blood sucking family must have really put on a good show. Special places in hell for people like them.

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 27, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    The attorneys will walk away with upwards of 30% off the top, plus per diems and other expenses.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 27, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Does anyone know who represented O’Brien?

      • My real name Reply Report comment

        September 28, 2016 at 9:26 am

        I think Marias son represented the family. And this is not a blood sucking family. They wanted people to know what happened to their mother so it wont happen to anyone else. What if it was your mother?

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          September 28, 2016 at 10:45 am

          i can sympathize with all of that. but at the end of the day, the cost of this $900k settlement is going to be passed on to the citizenry, making care even more oppressively expensive than it already is. since they really did this not to enrich themselves, but to hit a substandard care giver where it hurts, to make sure it wont happen to anyone else, you’d think they’d donate the punitive part to a charity or other similar.

          • Anonymous

            September 28, 2016 at 11:11 am

            Dont quote me, but I think the facilities have to carry malpractice insurance. If so, this would be paid by the insurance company.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 27, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Taxes will hit them for about 40%. Won’t be much left to split.

  9. Sad but true Reply Report comment

    September 27, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    My question would be this, If you thought your mother was being neglected or abused, why would you leave her there for 2 years?
    I think the truth is, she had excellent care, but she was demented and probably very hard to take care of. And yes, like everyone who enters a care facility, her health gradually went down hill. Its sad, but just the way it is at end of life care.
    Verdicts like this are another reason healthcare cost are staggering, and getting worse.

  10. PABLO SWIFT Reply Report comment

    September 27, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Hey corn hole if it was your mother or loved one you would piss and moan and sue also. Don’t even say you wouldn’t. Right is right man and wrong is wrong.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 27, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      um, believe it or not but to this very day most mid-westerners are not greedy gonifs hiring commission based trial lawyers every time there is an opportunity to claim they’ve been “wronged”.

  11. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 27, 2016 at 11:36 am

    That is insane. Under not circumstances does that family have $900,000.00 worth of pain and suffering. The jury must be smoking their socks.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      It will be appealed and reduced. Watch and see.