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Nursing home co. settles $677M lawsuit for $50M

Wed, 09/08/2010 - 12:45pm
The Associated Press

A California nursing home company has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit that resulted in a $677 million jury award in favor of thousands of current and former patients.

Orange County-based Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. announced the settlement late Tuesday. The money will go to the roughly 32,000 patients covered by the class-action lawsuit. It will also cover attorneys' fees.

The $677 million awarded by a Humboldt County Superior Court jury in July is believed to be the largest jury verdict in the country this year.

The jury determined that Skilled Healthcare illegally skimped on state-mandated staffing levels at its 22 nursing homes in California.

Skilled Healthcare faced bankruptcy if it was required to pay the $677 million verdict.

The company's shares jumped 85 cents, or 24 percent, to $4.35 Wednesday.

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