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Maryland jury awards over $1 million to family of pastor who died in nursing home

Flickr Commons/Joe Gratz
Flickr Commons/Joe Gratz

Correction Appended 

A jury in Maryland has awarded more than $1 million in damages to the family and estate of a pastor who died from an injury due to negligence on the part of a nursing home.

In a decision entered last week, a Baltimore County jury awarded the family and estate of Pastor Randolph Mack $1,037,500 in non-economic damages in a judgment against Stella Maris, Inc.

The former pastor of New Beginning Bible Baptist Church of Baltimore and an expert in martial arts, Mack died in December 2020 in the Franklin Square Medical Center at the age of 64.

His family filed suit against the nursing home where he lived, arguing that their failure to properly treat a pressure sore, also known as a bedsore, had contributed to his death.

Medical records reportedly showed that Stella Maris personnel failed to reposition Mack on a regular basis, instead leaving him on his back for several hours at a time, causing his injury to develop into a severe wound.

Although the six-member jury had awarded over $9 million to the Mack family and estate, Maryland law has a cap on non-economic damages, resulting in it being heavily reduced.

The Mack family was represented by attorneys with the law firms Ketterer, Browne & Associates and Janet, Janet & Suggs.

Patrick A. Thronson and Andrew S. Janet of JJ&S released a joint statement in response to the decision, denouncing the state law’s capping of the awards given to the family and estate.

“Maryland and other states have unfairly and unjustly limited the compensation families in negligence and health care malpractice cases are able to recover for their enormous human damages, such as the emotional harm that surviving family members often endure for the rest of their lives,” they stated.

“Corporations that all too often act with careless disregard for the law and human life deserve no special treatment. Maryland law should no longer demean the suffering of victims of nursing home and health care malpractice through this discriminatory, unjust limit on human damages.” 

Correction: The original version of this article published on Aug. 22, 2023 said that one of the law firms was "Brown & Associates." It's been corrected to say Ketterer, Browne & Associates.

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