Iowa bill limits medical malpractice lawsuit damages

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INWOOD, Iowa (KCAU) – Jean Hubers is a dementia patient whose condition now requires around the clock care.

Jean’s daughter, Jodi, says she bathes her mother, and helps her get to the table to eat.

During her time spent in a previous nursing home, Jodi says her mom was barely even being moved from her bed.

“The nurse aides never walked her even though she could walk,” Sear said.

After months of laying in bed, Jean developed severe pressure sores on various parts of her body, which would ultimately take away her ability to walk ever again.

“The doctor scheduled surgery to clear it out but 5 minutes in one of the nurses came out saying we can’t save the foot we need to amputate,” Sear said.

The sore on her foot cost Jean her left leg. Shortly afterwards, the family had the state investigate the nursing home, which only further confirmed their fears.

“When they came in to do their investigation we were informed that my mom had been given the wrong medication for 6 months as well,” Sear says.

The family is now suing the nursing home for neglect, but fear lawmakers don’t understand what they’re going through.

“You can’t really put any monetary amount on any person’s life,” Sear said.

“It’s not humane, it’s not constitutional and I don’t think it stands for what Iowa stands for,” Pressley Henningsen, the family’s attorney said.

There’s no guarantee Jean will win her case, but even so, the family and their lawyer say putting a cap on medical malpractice doesn’t give families back what they have lost.

“The reality is no one wants to be involved in a lawsuit but they at least want the ability to seek accountability and responsibility and that’s being truncated by this law,” Henningsen said.

“I still had those questions had she ben in a good nursing home could she have gone home? Would she have even lost her leg? Now that ability for her to go home has been taken away,” Sear said.

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