The Daily Mall reported that a circuit judge has granted a request for a $50 million bond to be obtained on behalf of the plaintiffs in a nursing home lawsuit that resulted in a $91 million jury verdict. The verdict has been appealed to the state Supreme Court. The jury found that Douglas died as a result of neglect at Heartland of Charleston, owned by Manor Care Inc. Douglas was a patient at Heartland for 19 days in 2009 before being transferred to a hospice facility and dying there. Attorneys argued that dehydration and other lack of care at Heartland caused her death. The jury determined the nursing home was at fault and awarded the family $11 million for her death. They awarded $80 million in punitive damages against the company. Last month the judge denied a request for a new trial in the case and it was sent to the Supreme Court.
Attorney Michael Fuller told Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib that a bond was necessary as the higher court considered that monetary award. The nursing home is covered by two primary insurance companies – Manor Care Insurance Ltd. and AIG – for any amount over $10 million. But several other insurers are involved as well.