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Skilled Healthcare Fined $671 Million for Damages in Violating State Health and Safety Codes in California – Amount Beyond

Posted Jul 07 2010 10:40am

Getting a judgment and collecting it are 2 different issues according to this article and the punitive damages could result with additional fines.  The company is image expected to appeal.  So now what happens when the company doesn’t have insurance to cover it? 

We read about individuals having inadequate insurance and now it flows over to the nursing home companies.  Keep in mind though that this is a publicly traded company and dividends to shareholders come first so should nursing home facilities and care units be traded or should this be an area for non profits to better serve seniors?  Are seniors being neglected with care standards in the interest of profits you might wonder and why do they not carry enough insurance if they are traded on the stock market for investors?  BD 

July 7 (Reuters) - U.S. nursing home operator Skilled Healthcare Group Inc ( SKH.N ) said a California jury ruled that the company has to pay $671 million in damages to patients for violating the state's health and safety code.

The jury has yet to hear the punitive damages phase of the trial and will continue to further deliberate on the class action lawsuit, which was filed more than four years ago.

Skilled Healthcare said its primary professional liability insurance coverage had been exhausted for the policy year.

"Even if the company is successful in obtaining insurance coverage for this matter, the amount of the jury verdict far exceeds the policy limits of its insurance," the company said.

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