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Arkansas Court Orders Nursing Home to Pay $26 Million, AP Says

May 1, 2003 | Bloomberg

Advocat Inc. and its affiliates were ordered by the Arkansas Supreme Court to pay $26 million to the heirs of a 93-year-old woman who died after residing in an Advocat nursing home, the Associated Press reported.

In 2001, an Arkansas jury awarded $78 million to the estate of Margaretha Sauer, finding negligence by personnel at an Advocat home in Mena, Arkansas, led to her death, the AP said. The Sauer family claimed the woman wasn't cared for properly because of understaffing at the facility, the AP said.

Advocat, a nursing-home operator based in Franklin, Tennessee, and two affiliated companies appealed, calling the verdict excessive and contending the trial judge improperly admitted some evidence, according to the AP.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday reduced the damages to $26 million, while sustaining the jury's findings of negligence and medical malpractice, the AP said.

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