Tolliver v. Hospice House
In this case, Compassion & Choices Legal Director Kathryn Tucker and Nebraska trial lawyer Dave Domina represent the family of Frances Tolliver, a Nebraska woman who suffered an unnecessarily painful death at an Omaha care facility which called itself “Hospice House” in 2004. The facility misrepresented itself as a hospice facility but did not provide hospice care.
Last spring, an Omaha jury found the defendant “Hospice House” negligent for failing to adequately treat Mrs. Tolliver’s pain. However, the court dismissed the cause of action for damages resulting from the misrepresentation.
The plaintiffs in the Tolliver case urge the Court to adopt new law in Nebraska governing damages for false representation when personal injury or emotional distress occurs.
Nationwide, this case should be a wake-up call to all care facilities on the importance of providing appropriate and adequate end-of-life care. Health care facilities must share accurate information about what sort of care they provide, recognizing the risk of harm to the patient when misrepresentations are made.
The Nebraska Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Tolliver v. Hospice House on March 4, after transferring an appeal from the lower Court of Appeals docket.