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May 30 2007 - Kentucky nursing home accused of deadly abuse, neglect

Investigators in Kenton County are looking into a nursing home in Erlanger, where several complaints have been filed against Villa Springs Nursing Home.

As many as five patients may have died as a result of abuse and neglect, authorities said.

“It is of grave concern, (the) things that are happening at this facility,” said Kenton County Prosecutor Ken Easterling.

One former patient stated he nearly died trying to get help from a nurse when he stayed at Villa Spring.

“She wouldn’t stay with me,” said the man, who declined to give his name or appear on camera. “She brought me a couple of pills and ran off.”

The World War II Navy veteran said he could barely breathe and asked the nurse to call 911.

“When I turned my light on for help, she turned it off,” he said.

The man said the nurse refused to act until he threatened to call 911 himself, and emergency crews discovered he had been having a heart attack.

“We’ve received over 50 calls already in this office, complaints (and) concerns from families who have had past experiences and current experiences with this facility,” said Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Garry Edmondson.

Despite numerous complaints, Villa Spring representatives said their facility meets quality standards and would cooperate with any investigation.

“Come to Villa Spring and take a tour and talk to people,” said the facility’s attorney, Phil Taliaferro. “If there are problems we’re going to correct them.”

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