Jury awards $4.2 million in death of nursing home resident

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A Tennessee jury has awarded the relatives of a man who died in the care of a National Healthcare Corp. facility $4.2 million in compensatory damages.

The lawsuit claimed that Cheatum Myers died in 2005 at the 150-bed facility located in McMinnville due to insufficient care. Jurors opted not to award damages for wrongful death, but instead based compensatory damages on pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley vacated any punitive damages assessed against NHC and the nursing home, but an appellate court could overturn his ruling and award as much as $29.6 million to the Myers family.

NHC, based in Murfreesboro, TN, also owned the nursing home in Nashville where a 2003 fire was blamed for 16 deaths.