The family of Tranquilino Mendoza agrees that he received good care from a nursing home, until he was paired with a mentally ill roommate, who beat Mendoza with his fists and a water pitcher, the thirtieth time or so he had assaulted someone at the home. Mendoza recovered from his injuries, and died less than three years later from unrelated causes. The jury felt that his estate deserved $160 million in damages. Liability may be appropriate (it’s unclear from the press coverage what the nursing home could have done differently, since the roommate had to be placed somewhere), but the damages figure appears off by three orders of magnitude. (Sheila Hotchkin, “Jury awards $160 million in nursing home suit”, San Antonio Express-News, Feb. 23).