Management company for OBX nursing facility could face lawsuit

NAGS HEAD, N.C. (WAVY) — Residents of an Outer Banks nursing facility are caught in the middle of a fight between the facility’s management company and the Town of Nags Head.

Nags Head town leaders say the management company hasn’t done the proper building improvements it promised.

In April, Cliff Ogburn, Nags Head Town Manager, sent a four-page letter to Randy Uzzell, then-president of the company Tar River Long Term Care Group, LLC. The letter details what the town says should be done to avoid litigation.

Document: Ogburn letter to Uzzell declaring breach

10 On Your Side learned Uzzell passed away about two weeks after that letter was sent.

While the town and the company sort out what happens next, residents at the Colony Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center face an uncertain future. Leslie Kappes’s 87-year-old mother, Connie, has lived there two years.

“I think the residents deserve to be in something that’s not run down,” Kappes said.

She emailed 10 On Your Side pictures of an unkempt common area, a broken dresser and peeling border paper. Kappes said half of her mother’s belongings were stolen, and she has even complained about the lack of attention to her mom’s hygiene.

“When my mom first came here, she had drawers that she would try to pull out by herself that would fall down on her. So, we’ve had a lot of things that we haven’t been very happy with,” Kappas told 10 On Your Side.

Colony Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (WAVY/Brandi Cummings)
Colony Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (WAVY/Brandi Cummings)

However, Kappes said because the center is just 10 minutes from her home, it is her only option. “I just don’t feel like people should be made to spend their final days in something that’s sub-par.”

Nags Head Town officials say the management company agreed four years ago to make $1.5 million in renovations. Since the work hasn’t been done, the company has been given an ultimatum — voluntarily terminate the lease or face eviction.

If the center closes, residents must be moved within 60 days. Kappes said that could mean an hour drive each way to see her mom. That’s something she does not want to happen.

“I think that they need to be made to walk away, honestly,” she said. “I think they need to be able to be made to walk away so that another company can come in and see what they can do. We’ve waited years for this to happen and it hasn’t happened.”

10 On Your Side called Tar River Long Term Care Group, LLC and a secretary would not tell us the name of the company’s current president. The secretary said she would have someone get in touch with us, and someone did — an attorney representing Principle Long Term Care, Inc. was told Principle Long Term Care, Inc. now manages the property, and information on the Town of Nags Head’s website indicates Randy Uzzell used to be a facility manager with that company. It’s unclear what the relationship is between Principle Long Term Care and Tar River LTC Group.

The attorney for Principle Long Term Care, Inc. sent 10 On Your Side this statement:

Principle Long Term Care, Inc., the manager of Colony Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, is currently in negotiations with the Town of Nags Head and we are confident that there will be an amicable resolution that does not result in any interruption in service to the residents of the facility. As always, we are fully committed to providing the highest level of care and services to our residents.

Erik Lindberg
PLTC, Inc.
P.O. Box 6159
Kinston, NC 28501

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