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California Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of $500 Penalty Limit On Nursing Homes For Certain Lawsuits

Los Angeles Times-

As COVID-19 continues to ravage nursing homes, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday that a state law allowing residents to sue facilities limits compensation to $500.

The ambiguous 1982 statute was aimed at allowing nursing home residents to sue on the grounds their rights had been violated, but in a 5-2 decision, the state’s highest court interpreted the law to mean that residents may collect no more than $500 for violations, regardless of how many. The two dissenting justices argued the law actually intended to set a $500 cap for each violation of a patient’s rights, not for the entire suit.

The decision stemmed from a lawsuit filed by John Jarman, who was 91 in 2008 when he slipped and fractured his hip. After surgery, he was transferred to ManorCare of Hemet, CA, a skilled nursing facility of HCR ManorCare Inc. While there, he developed bed sores that took a year to heal after his release, the suit said.

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