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Nursing home must pay millions in wrongful death case

A nursing home was entangled in a lawsuit in which a jury awarded millions to the plaintiff. A West Virginia jury awarded $80 million in a wrongful death suit for punitive damages. Now, the court of appeals has decreased the initial amount down to $32 million.

Back in 2009, a woman was admitted to a nursing home, but after just a few weeks, things took a turn for the worst. Reportedly, after just 19 days, the woman was observed to be bed ridden and dehydrated. She was also malnourished and barely able to respond to people. The woman allegedly had sores in her throat and mouth and she also had bruises on her. She experienced a number of falls and suffered from head trauma.

Eventually, the woman was transferred to hospice care and then she died just 18 days after departing from the nursing home. According to the lawsuit, the nursing home breached their fiduciary duty and the facility is also accused of corporate negligence. The trial lasted for 10 days and resulted in the jury issuing a verdict for $11.5 million in compensation and $80 million in punitive damages which was later reduced to $32 million.

Nursing home staff members are expected to act within a reasonable scope of duty. In this case, a woman was apparently mistreated to a point that it lead to her death. West Virginia families who have experienced the loss of a loved one at a nursing home due to negligent care may have the right to file wrongful death claims as appropriate legal remedies for financial relief.

Source: legalnewsline.com, "W.Va. SC reduces $80M punitives award against nursing home to $32M", Kyla Asbury, June 18, 2014

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