A jury in Massachusetts found that a nursing home was negligent in causing an eye injury, awarding $400,000 for the Plaintiff’s pain and suffering during the 45 days between the injury and his death. They did not find that the injury caused his death.
The Plaintiff’s counsel said he thought the verdict was high given that the victim was so old. This attorney did a great job, I’m sure, securing this verdict and should be commended for taking the case. But I don’t think it was a “high” verdict. Who would trade $400,000, that they don’t get, to spend their final 45 days in misery?
This nursing home verdict never would have been possible if a trial judge had not vacated an arbitration agreement the patient executed when he was 91 years old and suffering delusions. The nursing home arbitration agreement had sought to prevent his estate from filing a civil suit if killed or injured by the nursing home’s negligence.
A lawyer for the nursing home calls the arbitration agreement “voluntary.” I could not disagree more.