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Nursing Home Victims Forced to Settle Following Massive Jury Verdict

The Contra Costa Times recently continued their in-depth examination of one of the largest nursing home trials in history involving Skilled Healthcare. As explained earlier, the nursing home chain was sued in a class action lawsuit for years of inadequate nursing treatment at 22 of its facilities. Over 42,000 residents were represented in the lawsuit, all of whom suffered to varying degrees from the illegal activities of the nursing home chain.

Following a lengthy litigation process, including a highly publicized trial, the jury reached a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding them $677 million for their losses. However, the financial reality of the Skilled Healthcare made a settlement a virtual requirement for both parties even after the verdict.

For one thing, the company already had over $450 million in debt owed to others. The company was likely unable to pay for the entire verdict, meaning that if nothing changed the entire company would dissolve because of the lost lawsuit. If that happened, the victims represented in the suit would simply become one of many other creditors fighting for the pieces of whatever value the defunct company possessed.

However, the company did maintain a credit line through which a settlement award could be reached and paid to the victims. Eventually the parties agreed to that at a figure around $63 million. In that way, the victims are assured of getting some money and getting it much sooner than they would otherwise. A refusal to reach settlement would have risked the victims receiving anything and would have assuredly delayed the pay-out.

Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti have worked for years with clients who have been harmed by the negligent treatment at many area facilities, including those who provide inadequate staffing. Please contact our nursing home lawyers today if you know of similar problems at a facility near you.

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