A nursing home and pharmacy have agreed to pay nearly $13 million to the estate of a former Jefferson Circuit Court judge who died after he allegedly failed to receive needed antibiotics.
Masonic Homes of Kentucky reached the settlement Monday to the estate of Judge Dan Schneider, who was 68 when he died in April 2013, after 24 days at the Louisville campus of the nursing home.
Under the terms of the settlement, which was reached on the day before the case was to go to trial, Masonic Homes will pay $11 million to Schneider's wife and two sons.
Med Care Pharmacy, which was blamed for failing to follow up and ensure Schneider received antibiotics at the nursing home, will pay $1.9 million.
Attorney Chad Gardner, who along with Jake Grey represented Schneider's estate, said Schneider was admitted to a hospital for an infection and received antibiotics for two weeks before moving to the nursing home in March 2013.
Schneider was supposed to receive antibiotics for four more weeks in the nursing home before heading home.
But Schneider allegedly never received a single dose of antibiotics while at Masonic Home of Louisville despite staff documenting him receiving the needed antibiotics twice each day, Gardner said.
The infection returned, and Schneider died in early May.
Schneider's wife, Joann, would not learn of the circumstances of his death until about six weeks later, Gardner added.
"The way the facility failed to provide his medication and its failure to notify the family of what happened presented an insurmountable problem," Gardner said.
Schneider retired in 1997 after 20 years on the bench in Jefferson County. He was elected to district court in 1977 and became a circuit court judge in 1990.
Schneider also served for several years in juvenile court and one year in family court.
An April 1997 Courier Journal report on his retirement said Schneider was only 52 when he stepped away from the bench but did so after losing his 54-year-old brother to a heart attack the year before.
"You can't help but start thinking about your own mortality at that point,'' Schneider said at the time. He also said he planned on starting a mediation practice.
As chairman of the Louisville and Jefferson County Crime Commission for 10 years, Schneider dealt with everything from jail overcrowding to computer networking.
His colleagues on the bench and lawyers who appeared before him, according to the 1997 article, praised "his common sense, sense of humor and amiability."
Schneider's wife and two sons, Josh and Jed, filed the lawsuit against Masonic Homes of Kentucky and Med Care Pharmacy in March of 2014.
Nicole Candler, chief marketing officer for Masonic Homes of Kentucky, said in an emailed statement the nursing home is "hopeful the settlement and resolution will bring solace to the family."
Candler called Schneider's 2013 death an "isolated incident."
"We reviewed then and continually evaluate every aspect of our services to prevent something like this from happening," Candler said. "Although the settlement amount was substantial, we will continue providing outstanding daily living and specialized services throughout the continuum of care."
The nursing home company's "Care Center" in Louisville has a five-star rating from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "a designation held by less than 10% of nursing homes in the country," Candler added.
Gardner said Schneider's family believes the settlement agreement is "respectable to him" and is "glad to bring this litigation to a close."
"He was a very dear and kind man both on the bench and at home," Gardner said. "He leaves a wonderful legacy with his wife and two sons."