SNF will challenge jury's $30 million negligence verdict

The facility's lawyers will challenge the verdict with post-trial motions, and will appeal if necessary
The facility's lawyers will challenge the verdict with post-trial motions, and will appeal if necessary

A Tennessee skilled nursing facility plans to fight back against a jury's $30 million verdict in a lawsuit alleging negligence and medical malpractice that led to a resident's death.

The lawsuit was filed in 2010 against Allenbrooke Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Memphis, TN, by the family of Martha Jane Pierce. Pierce developed pressure ulcers on her right foot while residing at the facility that eventually became infected, and required her leg to be amputated in 2009. She died two months later.

A jury sided with Pierce's family, awarding a $30 million judgement that included $28 million in punitive damages late Thursday. The massive verdict “is not based upon the facts and the law,” and was the result of the jury not following their legal guidelines, Craig Conley, an attorney representing the facility, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Over the course of the five-week trial, attorneys for Allenbrooke showed that Pierce's pressure ulcers were caused by “serious and chronic medical conditions, rather than any negligence on the part of caregivers,” Conley said.

Conley and other attorneys with the law firm Baker Donelson plan to challenge the verdict with post-trial motions, and an appeal if necessary.

An attorney for Pierce's family said he believes the jury's verdict will be upheld “at the end of the day.”