CLARKSBURG – After a few hours of deliberation, a Harrison County jury ruled that a nursing home and its officials were not liable in a wrongful death case.
The jury verdict came Aug. 26 after the three-week trial related to the 2013 death of 87-year-old Carol Johnson. Her family had sued Heartland of Clarksburg and HCR ManorCare Inc., saying they were responsible for her death.
Attorneys from the McHugh Fuller Law Group in Mississippi represented the Johnson family.
The case was similar to the 2011 Kanawha County case in which the McHugh Fuller firm was awarded a nearly $100 million verdict on behalf of a family against HCR ManorCare. The case was appealed and concluded in 2014 when the state Supreme Court awarded $17 million to the Douglas family represented by McHugh Fuller.
Months later, the case was back in the spotlight when an ABC News report detailed how attorney Michael Fuller purchased a Learjet from Charleston attorney Scott Segal, the husband of then-state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis, for just over $1 million and that Fuller helped raise thousands of dollars for Davis’ 2012 re-election campaign.
Attorneys for Bailey & Glasser LLP of Charleston and Anspach Law of Charleston and Huntington represented Heartland of Clarksburg, the administrator and Heartland Employment Services. Greg Haddad represented HCR ManorCare.
Ben Bailey, a partner at Bailey & Glasser, told the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram he was “grateful for the jury’s hard work and thoughtful consideration of everything we did.” He also said the verdict was “a recognition of the good work that all the folks of Heartland of Clarksburg and the Manor Care network do for their patients.”
Robert Anspach agreed.
“So far as I’m concerned, this has always been a case about care provided (to the resident), and the evidence proved that she and many others like her got great care at our facility,” he told the newspaper.
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