Panel holds up $300k claim against state in SNF breathing tube case

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An Arkansas panel voted last week to affirm a $320,000 claim against the state's Department of Human Services in a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit.

The case involved a 41-year-old man with muscular dystrophy who was admitted to the state-run Arkansas Health Center in June 2013, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The department argued the resident died due to his disease. However, a nurse discovered that the man's breathing tube had been disconnected. The records also listed that he received water and food several hours after he died, which made lawmakers question their integrity.

“If that actually took place, how can we trust your charts earlier in the morning?" said state Rep. Jeff Wardlaw (D-Hermitage), according to the newspaper.

The award was set by the state Claims Commission and will go to the man's estate after it is confirmed by the General Assembly.