Judge Rules Medical Malpractice Cap On Damages was Not Intended to Apply to Nursing Homes

A judge in one state has determined that the state cap on damages for medical malpractice cases does not apply to nursing homes. In 2009, a resident died from neglect while at a facility owned by HCR Manor Care. The case went to trial in 2011, where witnesses testified that the facility was intentionally understaffed in order to maximize profits. A large jury verdict was returned for the woman's family. 

The 87-year old woman died of dehydration after she did not receive sufficient food and water. The woman also suffered head trauma from numerous falls and developed sores in her mouth. She was only a resident at the facility for 19 days. 

Following the jury trial, Manor Care appealed the verdict. On recent reconsideration by the judge, the judge determined that Manor Care did not qualify as a “health care provider” under state law and was not protected by the caps. The case will now be heard by the Supreme Court of the state in which the case was originally tried. 

The ruling does not affect the rights of patients and their families in Virginia. However, it is encouraging to see a judicial decisions which broaden the protections of victims of elder neglect and abuse. For more, read the story. 

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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