NHC HealthCare Nursing Home Fire Litigation

News Channel 5 Investigation (11/15/04)


Settlements Announced in NHC Fire Litigation (10/14/04):

  • Press Release
  • Ms. Norfleet & her sister Clara Jordan were represented by David Randolph Smith & Associates (David Randolph Smith & Eddie Schmidt), Bart Durham & Associates (Blair & Bart Durham) and The Cochran Firm (Parke Morris and Johnny Cochran, Memphis,TN office)
  • NHC Fire (pdf)
  • NHC Fire PowerPoint Presentation

On September 25, 2003 a six-alarm fire occurred at the NHC nursing home in Nashville, Tennessee. Sixteen persons died in the fire. Thirty-two lawsuits were filed and consolidated for discovery in the Third Circuit Court for Davidson County (before the Honorable Barbara Haynes). The firm represented victims and families of patients who died in this fire. David Randolph Smith & Associates and Bart Durham & Associates jointly prosecuted suits with other plaintiffs’ counsel. Mr. Smith was appointed as lead liasion counsel for the plaintiffs. Over 50 depostions were conducted in the consolidated cases.

On October 14, 2004 the plaintiffs announced settlements in 28 of the the 32 cases. The firm settled five wrongful death cases and seven injury cases for its clients for confidential amounts after weeks of mediation. The NHC fire was a sentinel event in nursing home safety and has directly led to changes in fire safety in nursing homes nationwide.The federal Government (GAO) published an extensive report on nursing home fire safety and federal legislation (Nursing Home Fire Safety Act of 2004 (H.R. 4987)) was introduced following the fire Mr. Smith stated: “The purpose of tort law is both compensation and deterrence. In this case, through the good faith efforts of NHC and the families, we believe these objectives have been achieved.”