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Arbitration Panel Finds in Favor of Tennessee Victim of Mariner Nursing Home Negligence

Unanimous Decision on Med Mal, Negligence, and TAPA Claims

HOUSTON, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An arbitration panel found in favor of the estate of Mrs. Voncil Sherrod, who died on 3/24/05 from gangrene, which developed during her residency at High Pointe Health and Rehabilitation, a Mariner Health Care nursing home in Tennessee. Counsel for the Plaintiff at the arbitration trial were Kenneth Connor and Henry Giessel of the firm Marks, Balette & Giessel, P.C. and Matthew Mussalli.

The causes of action included claims for ordinary negligence, violation of the Tennessee Adult Protection Act (TAPA), and medical malpractice. Plaintiffs sought to recover compensatory and punitive damages, together with attorneys fees for violation of TAPA. Claims were asserted against Mariner Health Care, Inc. (the parent corporation), Mariner Health Care Management (the management company), and National Heritage Realty, Inc. (the licensee). Plaintiffs averred that the three companies operated the facility as a joint venture and that they served as the alter egos of one another.

"It is outrageous that Mrs. Sherrod was treated so horrifically. She wasn't turned and repositioned and developed terrible pressure ulcers. She wasn't kept clean and developed infections. In addition, she suffered the indignity of languishing in her own waste for long periods of time. We can only hope that other nursing homes take heed and reconsider the way in which they operate their facilities. It is particularly satisfying to have unanimous decisions when you seek justice for a negligence victim's family," said Kenneth Connor.

The arbitration panel, was comprised of two former trial and appellate judges and a lawyer who had represented Mariner. The parties each selected an arbitrator and those two arbitrators picked a third arbitrator who presided over the proceeding. The panel rendered its award, finding unanimously for the Plaintiff on the ordinary negligence, medical malpractice and TAPA survival claims. The damage awards (items X and XII in the link) were determined by a majority of the panel. A copy of the Arbitration Panel's findings is linked here: (

The amounts awarded, totaling $2,773,396.32 were as follows:

  • TAPA violations -- $250,000
  • Attorneys fees for intentional, malicious or fraudulent misconduct resulting in a TAPA violation -- $400,000
  • Medical malpractice -- $626,396.32
  • Punitive damages -- $1,500,000

Marks Balette & Giessel is a nationally recognized litigation firm focused on the trial of complex, high-stakes civil cases. The firm's unparalleled commitment, dedication to excellence, and passion for jury trials have resulted in some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the country. For more information about this firm and their results, please see their website at

SOURCE Marks Balette & Giessel
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