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SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS $21 MILLION PUNITIVE DAMAGES VERDICT.

The Supreme Court has upheld a $21 million punitive damages verdict against the operator of an Arkansas nursing home in a lawsuit brought by the family of a woman who died there.

Without comment, the court said Nov. 10 it would not hear Sauer v. Advocat, Inc. (03-353), in which Advocat challenged the verdict as, among other things, conflicting with the limits on punitive damages outlined in BMW of North America v. Gore and State Farm v. Campbell.

The family of Margarethe Sauer, who died at 93, brought a medical malpractice negligence action against Advocat and its affiliates because of evidence she had been neglected and malnourished before she died.

A jury returned an award of $15 million in compensatory damages and a total of $63 million in punitive damages.

The Arkansas Supreme Court offered the family a choice of accepting either a new trial or reduced awards of $5 million in compensatory damages and $21 million in punitive damages.
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Publication:Liability & Insurance Week
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 17, 2003
Words:160
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