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Articles Tagged with lawyer

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calendar appThe Kentucky appellate courts seem to have heard more uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance cases than usual lately. Perhaps the court has done this intentionally for the sake of judicial economy – the reason being that it is easier to decide cases with similar issues while all of the intricacies of a particular branch of law are still fresh in the court’s mind.

Another reason may be that there are simply more UM/UIM disputes these days than in past years. Kentucky does have mandatory automobile liability insurance requirement, but the minimum required is just $25,000 per person (or $50,000 per accident) for bodily injury claims. Given the rapidly increasing costs of medical care, this coverage is often not enough to fully compensate an accident victim for his or her medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

UM/UIM coverage bridges the gap between a defendant’s liability coverage and a plaintiff’s total amount of damages, at least up to the plaintiff’s own policy limits. It is important to note that, just as in other types of personal injury cases, timeliness is very important when it comes to asserting one’s rights under a UM/UIM policy.

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file3441297827352 morguefile username mconnorsIn Frierson v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Inc., the estate of a former nursing home resident filed a lawsuit in Jefferson Circuit Court against the owner of the nursing home where he was living when he died. In its complaint, the estate accused the Jeffersontown, Kentucky, nursing home of committing negligence and violating a number of the duties enumerated in Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 216.515, also known as the Kentucky Residents Rights Statute. The estate also alleged that the injuries from his mistreatment caused the man’s premature death. The skilled nursing facility then removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Louisville based upon diversity of citizenship.

About six months later, the nursing facility asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit because the estate failed to plead its case with sufficient detail. Although the court said the motion was not without merit, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky denied the facility’s request and ordered the parties to proceed with a court-approved litigation plan.

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file0001362090004 morguefile wax115The Kentucky Court of Appeals has stated a medical malpractice lawsuit was not subject to arbitration. In Pikeville Medical Center, Inc. v. Bevins, an 85-year-old man was admitted to a Kentucky hospital with renal failure. Upon his arrival at the medical facility, the elderly man signed an agreement stating he would resolve any medical malpractice or other related disputes with the hospital through binding arbitration.

The man was apparently alert and awake when he entered the hospital. Three days after his admission, however, the elderly man reportedly fractured his neck when he fell from his hospital bed. As a result, the man underwent surgery and was discharged to a long-term care facility, where he died about one month later.

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file000831184585 morguefile username clickThe Kentucky Court of Appeals has affirmed a circuit court’s order denying arbitration in a nursing home abuse case. In Extendicare, Inc. v. Sandage, a woman entered a Brandenburg skilled nursing facility in 2011. When the woman entered the nursing home, her daughter signed numerous agreements on the woman’s behalf using a power of attorney. One of those documents was a voluntary alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) agreement that stated any disputes between the long term care facility and the woman would be resolved through binding arbitration. The woman lived at the nursing home until April 2012.

In September 2012, the resident’s daughter filed a personal injury case in Meade County Circuit Court against the nursing home and its associated corporate entities on the woman’s behalf. According to the woman’s complaint, the nursing home violated its duty of care to the resident. In response, the nursing home filed a motion to compel arbitration based on the terms of the ADR agreement the woman’s daughter signed prior to the woman’s admission to the facility. After the circuit court denied the nursing home’s motion, the company filed an interlocutory appeal with the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In general, an interlocutory appeal seeks review of a court’s decision before each claim in a case is finally resolved. Such an interim appeal is normally filed when allowing a case to proceed without further review might result in irreparable prejudice to the rights of one of the parties to a lawsuit.

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