Henry Sloan, a resident of the Oakleaf Village, a care facility in Lexington South Carolina, lay in his bed in excruciating pain as pancreatic cancer took its toll on his 75-year-old body. Why was Mr. Sloan in so much pain considering that he was in a facility that he and his family were paying to tend to his medical needs and manage his pain as he suffered through the agony that is pancreatic cancer? The answer is simple. One of the staff members was stealing Mr. Sloans much-needed pain medication. There were hundreds of pills unaccounted for said attorneys representing the Sloan family. Henry Sloan, a 75-year -old native of Columbia South Carolina was a faithful, hardworking and well-respected member of his Shandon Methodist Church and a longtime human resource consultant. While under the care of Oakleaf Village he did not receive all of his pills the attorneys continued to say. After learning about the thefts, an Oakleaf aide was quoted as saying “Mr. Sloan is in extreme pain. He is in his room crying, saying he only got one pain pill today.” The aide later went to Lexington police, telling officers that Sloan was threatening to kill himself. Sadly Mr. Sloan died shortly after the thefts were discovered.
The parent company that owns Oakleaf, Royal Senior Care Management LLC, recently settled a claim brought by Mr. Sloan’s sister, Barry Loan Lide for the sum of $1million dollars according to court records. Anyone that knows anything about pancreatic cancer will know that is one of the most excruciating forms of cancer that a person can suffer from. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 80% of those who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will die from it within 6 months. This cancer was the cause of Mr. Sloan’s passing, not the fact that he did not receive his pain medication. But “Mr. Sloan was deprived of the thing he most wanted, which was to live out his final days in as little pain as possible so he could enjoy his family during the last few months of his life,” wrote Cheryl Perkins and Charles Whetstone, attorneys for the Sloan family.
Although Oakleaf settled the case, they did not admit fault and outright denied any and all allegations that Mr. Sloan did not receive his medication. Oakleaf, a 100-bed, upscale assisted living center located near the downtown area of Lexington, South Carolina, charges it’s patients $3,500 a month, according to the pricing guide provided on Oakleaf’s website. The denial coming from Oakleaf seems to be a little suspect considering the criminal conviction of a former employee who pleaded guilty to failure to report the abuse of Mr. Sloan, a vulnerable male adult. So to be clear, there is another version of the events that took place in the months that proceeded Mr. Sloan’s death in June of 2016 that is very different than that given by Oakleaf and Royal Senior Care Management LLC.
Via reports, warrants, and transcripts of court proceedings the alternate version as told by police entails the story of a former Oakleaf employee that knew for months about the theft of Mr. Sloan’s medication but did nothing about it. The pills in question were Percocet, an opiate-based pain medication that contains Oxycodone, a highly addictive painkiller. The Percocets were removed from their manufacture provided blister packaging, and over-the-counter Tylenol were inserted in their place according to police reports.
In March, supervisor Linda Randolph, 65 and a mother of 5 (the employee who knew about the theft and did nothing,) pleaded guilty before state Judge William Keesley to charges including accessory after the fact of a felony and failure to report the abuse of a vulnerable adult. “This sounds like one of the most callous things I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve been on the bench a long time,” said Judge Keesley during Randolph’s plea hearing. Judge Keesley has presided over numerous murder trials over the course of his prestigious 26-year career. An undisputed statement came from the prosecution during the trial of how Randolph covered up for Betty Ann Jeffcoat, who was allegedly stealing pain medication. Micah Leedy, attorney for Randolph told Judge Keesley that Randolph and Jeffcoat’s longtime friendship was the reason for Randolph’s willingness to allow Jeffcoat to continue to take pain medication from patients. Leddy said ““They were prayer partners, she stuck her neck out for a friend, and she broke the rule.” Leedy went on to inform the Judge that Doctors often prescribe more pain medication than required to dying patients. Leedy’s point being, that even with the pills missing, Mr. Sloan was getting his medication. The Judge disagreed with Leedy stating, “I have no way of knowing that.”
As a graduate of the University of South Carolina and U.S. Army Veteran, Mr. Sloan chose Oakleaf due to the fact he felt it would be a safe place for himself after his diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer according to Sloan’s attorneys. “Mr. Sloan was prescribed a variety of narcotic pain medications that he needed to alleviate the pain and suffering caused by the progression of his terminal cancer,” according to the settlement petition filed on behalf of Sloan.
Police reports show that in December of 2015, a med tech reported that medication tampering had occurred to supervisor Randolph. Prosecutor Ken Moore, an Assistant Attorney General stated: “There was no question that Linda Randolph knew that Betty Jeffcoat, the med tech, had stolen those medications.” Moore stated that Randolph told the reporting med tech, “Promise not to tell a soul. I mean it.” Moore continued to allege that Randolph then destroyed evidence the pills had been taken and then sent the reporting med tech a text message via cell phone that said, “take that to your grave.”
In February of 2016, once again the reporting med tech found that Mr. Sloan’s medications were missing, and once again the tech went to Supervisor Randolph, who did nothing. Randolph covered up the report and that of another med tech that reported that pain pills were missing and Tylenol was substituted to another resident. Sloan and another resident from whom pain pills were taken “were betrayed by the caregivers who were supposed to take care of them,” stated prosecutor Moore in his summation to the court.
Randolph was given three years in prison but Judge Keesley chose to suspend the sentence and gave her 90 days in jail, six months of house arrest and 320 hours of community service. Judge Keesley also prohibited Randolph from ever working a job that involves the care of vulnerable adults.
As for Betty Jeffcoat, she was charged with theft of a controlled substance and her trial is set to begin in December.
Assisted Living and Nursing Home Abuse
Once it is time to take the step to place a loved one in a nursing home, it can be confusing and emotional. You want to make sure their every need and accommodation is carefully attended to on a daily basis, and you hope they are in the best hands when you can’t be there.
We would love to trust the staff in nursing homes to take the best care of your loved one, but sometimes you can’t be sure.
Nursing home neglect has become one of the biggest problems in the United States today. If you or a loved one have been unfairly treated or neglected by a nursing home facility, we can help.
Contact Jones Brown
When you need legal help, finding the answers you need can be overwhelming. No fear, you can contact us! We’re here to take the guesswork and searching out of the equation. Contact us: call, text, or fill out the form below, and we will contact you within 24 business hours.
You May Call Us
855-JBLAW99 (855-525-2999) We answer our phones 24 hours a day.
Text Us For A Quick Response