Bankruptcy foils recompense –

Barbara Cooper thought justice for her late father was finally just a day away.

A judge had already found that the owners of an assisted living home in Cumberland County owed $1.2 million in compensatory and punitive damages for the “egregiously wrongful acts” their employees committed while caring for her father, Marine veteran Joe Cooper, in 2002 and 2003.

The likely result for Barbara Cooper – failure to receive any recompense despite a clear legal finding in her favor – is far from uncommon in North Carolina, where long-term care centers aren’t required to carry liability insurance and legal maneuvers often shield individuals from actions against their companies. The Cooper case is unusual only because of the level of detail that’s publicly available – many such suits are settled privately, out of court.

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