LifeCare civil case settled

By Joe P. Asher jasher@civitasmedia.com

January 23, 2014

An agreement has been reached in the matter of Clifford Garber vs Johnson LifeCare.

The civil action was the result of alleged negligence on the part of Johnson’s LifeCare during a transport of Billie Jean Garber. Clifford Garber claimed Johnson’s LifeCare failed to supply his wife with oxygen when they transported her from an ambulance to her room at Harlan Nursing Home. According to Clifford Garber, LifeCare’s actions contributed to the death of his wife.

The resulting trial saw nearly two weeks of testimony in front of a jury. The jury deliberated for a little over two hours, returning with a verdict in favor of Clifford Garber. They awarded the plaintiffs $100,000 for pain and suffering, $200,000 for loss of consortium and $2,000,000 in punitive damages for a total of $2,300,000.

LifeCare’s attorney, Tiara Shoter, filed a motion after the verdict requesting a new trial. The motion claimed awarding $2,000,000 in punitive damages and $100,000 for pain and suffering was contrary to the law and not sustained by evidence and that the award was excessive and violated both Kentucky Law and the due process clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

An order entered and signed by Judge Henry Johnson on Monday has put an end to the prospect of a new trial.

According to the order, the plaintiff has agreed to dismiss all claims against all defendants. The order further states both sides shall bear their own fees and costs.

The order dismisses the case with prejudice.

Settlement details were not available through the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. Attempts to contact the attorneys were unsuccessful.

Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 113 or on Twitter @joe_hde