Court Roundup

Kentucky: Jury awards $42.75M in nursing home death
MADISONVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The family of a man who died after nine days in a Madisonville nursing home has won a $42.75 million verdict.

Attorney Lisa Circeo argued in court that 92-year-old Joseph Clint Offutt died because Harborside of Madisonville staff neglected him. She said Offutt suffered severe dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores and infections, all of which led to his death in April 2008.

Circeo said that Offutt was a World War II veteran who was still planting crops at age 88. After a stroke in 2007, his wife cared for him at home for eight months before the family decided he needed professional care.

Nursing home administrator Carol Britt said the size of the verdict was “outrageous and totally inappropriate.” She said the company would appeal.

South Dakota: Man loses appeal over 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — An appeals court rejected a South Dakotan’s claim that the federal government failed to comply with the “bad men” provision of an 1868 treaty when it prosecuted him.

Patrick White Mountain is serving two years in prison after pleading guilty to assault on a federal officer in Badlands National Park. Prosecutors said he dropped the leashes holding dogs, one of which bit a park ranger who was trying to arrest White Mountain.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected White Mountain’s argument that the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty required the U.S. government to first give notice to the tribe that he was wanted for a crime.

Minnesota: Suit alleges city illegally inflated home values
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A new lawsuit alleges the city of Minneapolis illegally inflated home reassessments in some lower income neighborhoods.

The suit seeking class action status is based on an analysis of home values in higher-income neighborhoods compared to those in areas where foreclosures and homes resales are high. Plaintiff John Braun, a University of Minnesota law student, and the school’s legal clinic checked assessments on some 10,000 homes.

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