On March 9th, 2022, Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance helped to secure a record-breaking $15.3 million jury verdict for Michelle McKinney, daughter of Lucille Dubose, who passed while under the care of the Life Care Center of Lawrenceville. Mrs. Dubose was admitted to the facility in November of 2016. A short month later, following complications from severe dehydration and infection from untreated pressure wounds (bed sores), Mrs. Dubose passed.
The $15.3 million verdict included $900,000 in punitive damages against the Life Care Center of Lawrenceville and an additional $8.27 million in punitive damages against its parent company, Life Care Centers of America. Judge Shawn Bratton of Gwinett County reduced the award to $6.4 million on March 18th, having removed all but $250,000 in punitive damages from the verdict. This was not done arbitrarily. Georgia caps punitive damages at $250,000 in nursing home abuse and neglect cases.
Challenging the State's Cap
Lance Lourie, who represented the plaintiffs in the case, has announced that Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance plan to appeal the court’s decision. Arguing that caps on punitive damages violate the State’s Constitution, Attorney Lourie will seek to have caps removed for this and all future cases.
The appeal will be heard by the Georgia Supreme Court shortly after it takes on a similar challenge. The outcome of these appeals may have a profound impact on the ability of victims to seek full compensation in the future – and not just for our clients, but for all victims of serious injury in the state.
There are already a host of issues that can make seeking justice after nursing home abuse and neglect very difficult. From arbitration agreements to employees willing to lie to protect their friends, there are several obstacles to overcome. We understand these challenges and are here to stand by your side and fight for your rights no matter how far we need to take your claim.
Please call our Atlanta office at 404-760-7400 to schedule a free case review today. Our award-winning attorneys fight for families living throughout the state of Georgia.