April 16, 2013
A West Virginia family was victorious this week in court after the jury awarded a $90.5 million verdict for the nursing home abuse and neglect of a family member that led to her death.
According to reports, Tom Douglas first filed the nursing home abuse lawsuit in 2010 on behalf of mother, 87-year-old Dorothy Douglas. The lawsuit was filed against Manor Care Inc., Heartland Employment Services LLC, HCR Manor Care Services Inc., and Health and Retirement Corporation of America LLC.
Per the court documents, the plaintiff alleged that his mother Dorothy suffered from severe nursing home abuse and neglect which led to life-threatening dehydration. Eventually, this lead to the victim being sent to hospice, where she died a little over a few weeks later.
After hearing the case, the jury determined that Heartland didn’t meet its obligation under state and federal to properly take care of the victim by violating the fiduciary responsibilities found in the Nursing Home Act. In addition, the presiding Kanawha County judge decided that the cap for damages only applied to one part of the case, awarding the family $80 million for the nursing home’s infractions and $11 million for the victim’s death.
The verdict came after an initial appeal in which the defendant stated that there were errors during the first trial involving the amount of the financial damages awarded. However, the plaintiff’s nursing home abuse attorney successfully blocked the appeal by reiterating that the damages amount were in the form of two separate counts, which legally falls under the Medical Professional Liability Act.