Wisconsin Insurer Found Not Liable for $1.5M in Group Home Death

March 2, 2009

A Wisconsin insurance company doesn’t have to pay $1.5 million to the estate of a developmentally disabled man who died after being left in a bathtub at a county group home.

The District 4 Court of Appeals says Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Co.’s insurance policy with Wood County does not cover the 2003 death of Jacob Johnson.

A county employee left Johnson in a bath tub unattended for several hours. He nearly drowned and died days later.

Johnson’s estate reached a settlement in which the county and one insurer paid $1.1 million. The deal allowed the estate to seek another $1.4 million from WC Mutual along with $100,000 to repay the county.

A lawyer for the estate says the court’s ruling is a very disappointing result.

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