- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has handed a legal victory to a man whose mother died in an Arkansas nursing home.

Andrew Phillips sued Michael Morton and Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in 2015, following the death of his mother, Dorothy Phillips, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2qIc0ZL ) reported. The lawsuit alleges understaffing at her nursing home led to problems.

No court has ruled on Philips’ lawsuit allegations, but the state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a Pulaski County judge’s decision granting class-action status in all aspects of the case except negligence.

The Supreme Court rejected the nursing home’s arguments that Phillips failed to prove some essential elements behind the class-action status on other points. The high court ordered the case back to Pulaski County with instructions to decertify the class solely on the negligence claim.

“Negligence requires an individual analysis of each plaintiff’s specific allegations,” Justice Karen Baker wrote. “The commonality requirement is clearly satisfied because Robinson’s act of understaffing, independent of any action by Phillips, establishes a common question relating to the entire class.”

Morton spokesman Matt DeCample said the company’s attorneys had no comment on the decision because the case is pending.

Thomas Buchanan has represented other plaintiffs suing Morton’s nursing homes. He said the court’s ruling is “absolutely a victory” for Phillips.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com


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