MARTINSBURG – Attorneys representing a nursing and rehabilitation center in Martinsburg say they can’t represent it in a trial in January because they will be busy with another lawsuit against the parent company.

Attorney John A. Hess, of Anspach Law in Huntington, says he will be busy with a trial in Kanawha Circuit Court when a trial in Berkeley Circuit Court against Heartland of Martinsburg is scheduled to begin.

The Kanawha trial is against HCR Manor Care and another of its West Virginia Heartland facilities. Hess said the Kanawha trial will begin Jan. 13 and will last for more than one week because of complex medical malpractice issues.

The Berkeley lawsuit on behalf of the estate of Harry Lee Noll had a scheduled trial date of Jan. 14.

The complaint alleged Noll was a patient at Heartland of Martinsburg from March 19, 2010, until July 26, 2010. While there, the staff at Heartland allegedly violated his rights to be free from mental abuse and neglect, to receive care that promoted his quality of life and to be treated with consideration and respect.

Noll developed pressure sores in his time at Heartland, the complaint says.

“As a direct and proximate result of these breaches, all resulting from defects and/or conditions that were known to the Manor Care defendants, Harry Noll suffered bodily injury and resulting pain and suffering, gross indignities, degradation, humiliation, disability and physical impairment, mental anguish, inconvenience, extreme emotional distress, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, discomfort, medical, hospital and nursing expenses and aggravation of previously existing conditions,” the complaint says.

Heartland filed an answer on June 22 denying the complaint’s allegations.

Representing the plaintiff is Peter D. Giglione and Ryan J. Duffy of Wilkes & McHugh in Pittsburgh.

The stakes in lawsuits against HCR Manor Care are much higher in the wake of a Kanawha County jury verdict of more than $90 million against Heartland of Charleston.

The verdict included $80 million in punitive damages and has been appealed to the state Supreme Court of Appeals.

From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O’Brien at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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