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Jan 17, 1995

1993's Largest Verdicts

Featuring: Robert T. Cunningham

The National Law Journal 

Some Big Judgments Were Settled After Trial 


As happens every year, some of the largest 1993 verdicts were settled by year's end. There were also some settlements of judgments from previous years. 1993 verdict settlements include: 

Case type: Wrongful death. 

Case: v. Vari-Care Inc., CV91-617 (Cir. Ct., Baldwin Co., Ala.). 

Verdict amount and date: $ 65 million; Nov. 19. 

Settlement amount and date: Undisclosed; December. 

JAMES MILTON West was 83 years old when he came to the Montrose Bay Health Care Center in Montrose, Ala., in May 1990 after suffering a stroke. Mr. West was at the nursing care facility for several weeks. By the time he was transferred to a hospital, says plaintiffs' attorney Robert T. Cunningham Jr., of Mobile, Ala.'s Cunningham, Bounds, Yance, Crowder & Brown, "he was badly malnourished, he had a systemic infection," including a "huge, gangrenous bed sore that measured 8 to 10 inches in diameter. He died shortly thereafter." 

His family sued the nursing care center and its owner, Vari-Care Inc., over his death, charging, says Mr. Cunningham, that while at the nursing home "he had been grossly neglected. The nursing home violated professional, state and federal standards of care," Mr. Cunningham adds. On Nov. 19, 1993, a Mobile, Ala., jury agreed, awarding Mr. Cunningham's estate $ 65 million, all punitives. (In Alabama, only punitives can be awarded in wrongful-death actions.) On Dec. 13, a settlement agreement was reached, the terms of which were confidential.

Lawyer Involved

Related Case

$65 Million Verdict

Wrongful Death Verdict from Nursing Home Negligence

Lillian West, as Adm. v. Montrose Bay Health Care Center | Baldwin County, Alabama | Case No. CV-91-617

Cunningham Bounds achieved a wrongful death verdict in this nursing home negligence case.

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