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Appeal in nursing home neglect case to be heard by high court

A nursing home who lost a lawsuit case that resulted in a $90 million judgement for a family will be able to appeal the judgement. The nursing home wants the large judgement thrown out and state lawsuit guidelines to be applied.

West Virginia readers might have heard about the case that involves the death of an 87-year-old woman. According to the woman's family, the Charleston-based nursing home failed to properly take care of the woman during her three-week stay. She died 18 days after she left the nursing home, allegedly due to complications from dehydration. The jury sided with the woman's family and awarded them $90 million, believing that the nursing home failed to properly care for the woman.

The nursing home is appealing on the grounds that the jury award should have been capped at $500,000, per state guidelines outlined in the Medical Professional Liability Act. However, the family's legal teams maintain that the Act applied to medical negligence lawsuits and not regular neglect. The nursing home also alleges that the jury received improper directions before they began their deliberations. The nursing home wants the jury award set aside and the total award to be either lowered significantly or the cap applied.

Large awards such as this one are sometimes used to send a message. No amount of money will bring a loved one back, but an award can help a family put their life back together. It also serves as a warning to other similar businesses that they will be held accountable for things such as nursing home neglect. Anyone who feels they have been similarly wronged should consider seeking the advice of a legal representative so they can examine their options.

Source: The Charleston Gazette, "Nursing home appeal going before high court" Kate White, Mar. 03, 2014

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