The family of a man killed by a morphine overdose has been awarded nearly $5 million. The victim, Burr Needham, was checked into Mercy Memorial Nursing Center in April 2002 to receive physical therapy for a non-displaced hip fracture, but was found dead only a week and a half later from a morphine overdose.
The medical examiner ruled Needham's death a homicide, leading the man's family to hire nursing home negligence lawyers. The ensuing investigation revealed that the nursing home staff had failed to monitor the amount of morphine given to Needham and had not recorded that any morphine was given to him on his medical chart. The trial lasted over three weeks, but in the end, Needham's family was awarded nearly $3 million for loss of companionship, $1.5 million for pain and suffering, as well as $350,000 for damages and lost valuables.
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