West Virginia Clarifies Limited Nursing Home Liability

April 14, 2013

The West Virginia legislature has moved to limit the liability that nursing homes can face in potential lawsuits.

The bill passed unanimously Saturday by the House explicitly applies the state’s Medical Professional Liability Act to nursing homes. That 2003 law sets a $500,000 limit on the amount of non-economic damages that medical providers can be held liable for. The bill also states that the Legislature always intended for that law to cover nursing homes.

In 2011 a jury found a Charleston nursing home liable for $90 million in damages for the death of an 87-year old woman. The jury found that nursing homes were not always covered under the state’s medical liability protections. A circuit court judge upheld that verdict earlier this week, although it is subject to further appeal.

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