Missing woman’s family gets $1.8 million settlement

I have written one or two times before about Mouy Tang, who disappeared from a nursing home in North Carolina in 2008 and was never found. The nursing home pretty much defines substandard and it got shut down in the wake of Mouy’s disappearance — talk about closing the barn door after the horses have already been stolen.

Unique Living had faced several issues, including two residents that had passed away due to neglect, according to Cleveland County Social Services.

The facility also faced concerns with having several of their utilities in jeopardy of being disconnected, limited food supply in the kitchen, verbally abusing the residents, and improperly using restraints.

Mouy had a lot of mental and medical problems, including schizophrenia, and she was an insulin-dependent diabetic. She is almost certainly dead; she needed those insulin shots four times a day to live. She survived the killing fields of Cambodia only to die of neglect and stupidity in the grand old US of A.

Anyway, Mouy’s family sued the company that owned the nursing home and have just won 1.8 million dollars. Another article has a more precise number: $1,844,000. With interest of 8% until the money is fully paid — I didn’t know you could charge interest for lawsuit winnings. You can view the settlement as well.

Family of missing woman want 750k from nursing home

The family of Mouy Tang, a North Carolina resident who disappeared in 2008, is seeking $750,000 in damages from Unique Living, the nursing home where Mouy lived at the time. Mouy was 46 years old, young for a nursing home, but she had severe mental and physical problems and on top of it all she didn’t speak English. The doctors say she could have not have survived without her diabetes medicine.

The nursing home was shut down a week after her disappearance, and deservedly so. From Mouy’s Charley casefile:

Other residents of Unique Living have gone missing from the facility for days at a time, and two have died inside the home from accidents. One resident, Kelly “Buck” Whitesides, disappeared from there in 2006, only a week after he moved in. His body was found eight days later, less than 1,000 feet from the facility; he had diabetes and a history of strokes and heart problems and had died of natural causes. A month after Whitesides’s body was located, another Unique Living resident signed himself out and didn’t return. He was found safe 100 miles away.

The facility was considered troubled. It had a poor sanitation rating and was repeatedly cited for violations. […] A committee working for the state Division of Health Service (DHS) recommended that the home be fined $50,000 for alleged safety violations.

And from another article:

Testimony from DSS officials, which has been previously documented in The Star, painted a picture of negligence well before Mouy’s disappearance.

Johnson said the facility’s revenue included roughly $1,000 per each of the more than 60 residents per month. Yet bills went unpaid.

Utility bills weren’t paid and neither was staff, Johnson said. DSS repeatedly had to intervene to prevent water and heat service from being terminated, she said. Even a dishwasher was repossessed.

Some doors that were supposed to be secure were broken at the time of Mouy’s disappearance, which enabled her to walk out the door and off grounds without being noticed.

It’s a terrible story.

My grandpa lives in a nursing home. I saw him today in fact. Grandma lived there too, until she died last summer. I think it’s a good place — Grandpa seems cheerful enough there — and there are coded locks on all the doors. I feel fortunate that he’s in a good facility and not one of those dungeons I’ve heard about.