BECKLEY - The family of a patient who was beaten to death at Pinecrest Hospital and the hospital have reached a settlement agreement that will be decided upon by Raleigh Circuit Court Judge Robert Burnside.

The settlement would pay Buster Lee Webb's family $300,000, and a hearing on the matter is to be held Aug. 21.

Webb died of a bloodclot on Nov. 26, 2000, months after being assaulted by a fellow Pinecrest patient. Previously, Webb was a quadriplegic. He jumped into a pool of shallow water 10 years before his death.

Charleston attorney Keith Jones of Jones Law Office filed the suit on behalf of Carrie Stoots, Webb's half-sister.

State Sen. Russ Weeks, of Raleigh County, has long pushed for an investigation to look into state hospital lawsuits. He accused the state of a cover-up last winter during the Legislature's special session.

He reportedly felt "partially vindicated" by news of the settlement, though said there are many more problems to be sorted out.

"After 2 ½ years of seeking justice for the residents of Pinecrest Hospital, and others, and meeting resistance, stonewalls and what have been proven to be many lies, it is difficult to reach any conclusion except that there is a massive cover-up taking place -- a cover-up that destroys the very fabric of the constitution I swore to uphold, a cover-up that might reach untold places in state government," the senator had said.

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