During an unexpected heat wave, the administrator of a nursing home decided against turning on the…
During an unexpected heat wave, the administrator of a nursing home decided against turning on the air condition, which resulted in the death of four of the residents of the home. Once of the deceased resident’s daughters brought a law suit against the home for a wrongful death suit. She was awarded a judgment of $270,000. She then filed a second lawsuit against the home’s insurance company to collect payment on the judgment.
The insurance company refuse to pay, stating that the judgment underlying the lawsuit was professional liability and the insurance company did not cover the nursing home for professional judgement. The nursing home then filed a lawsuit against the insurance company for payment of this judgement.
What provisions of an insurance policy would you consult to determine whether an insurance company should pay such a claim and what would the limits of the liability be?
Is the nursing home insurance company correct in saying that this is a professional judgment issue?
Which insurance company (the nursing home’s or the administrator of the nursing home, assuming she has coverage) should pay the court-ordered judgement?
How would you decide the case?