Heartland must pay $91.5M in fatal neglect case

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County jury on Friday awarded an elderly woman’s family $91.5 million in damages from a Charleston nursing home, after finding that nursing home workers indirectly caused the woman’s death.

After a trial that lasted nearly two weeks in front of Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr., jurors found that workers at Heartland of Charleston, located at 3819 Chesterfield Ave., failed to feed and care for Dorothy Douglas, who stayed at the home for about three weeks in 2009 before dying at age 87. Lawyers for Douglas’ son say she died of complications from dehydration.

After closing arguments Friday morning, jurors deliberated for about two hours before returning their verdict and awarding $80 million in punitive damages and $11.5 million in compensatory damages.

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