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Court affirms denial of summary immunity decision regarding WWII veteran and State of Michigan

Andrew Ball was a dementia patient with a history of wandering at night while living at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.  His wife wanted to live with him, even after his condition worsened, but he had been admitted to the lock down unit; so he was moved back to a less secure unit to live with her.  He ultimately wandered into another room where he was assaulted, transferred to hospital, and ultimately passed away from blunt force injury complications.  HIs family sued the facility for ordinary negligence in managing his housing.

The government-run facility sought summary disposition, arguing that it was immune and that the claim should have been pursued as one for medical malpractice.  The trial judge refused to grant summary disposition and the State Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs appealed.  Two judges of the Court of Appeals affirmed with Judge Hoekstra dissenting.  He would rule that the government is immune from claims of ordinary negligence in providing medical care or treatment.

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