Nursing Homes

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When Alabama nursing homes run TV ads criticizing trial lawyers, they are casting a wide net that falls on Governor Bob Riley's son.

Rob Riley, a Birmingham attorney, is among the lawyers who have represented patients or their families in filing lawsuits against nursing homes.

Copies of the lawsuits have been distributed around the Statehouse, where nursing homes are trying to get lawmakers to pass legislation limiting jury verdicts for injuries and deaths to $250,000.

Rob Riley did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Governor Riley's press secretary, David Azbell, said the governor doesn't appreciate his children being drawn into legislative battles.

Mary Ann Holt, legislative director for the Alabama Nursing Home Association, said she knew Rob Riley was among the plaintiff lawyers. But said the association was not responsible for distributing copies of his lawsuits around the Statehouse.

Azbell said the governor has not yet taken a position on the nursing home bills, but said he supported similar legislation in Congress.

Nursing homes say they need limits on lawsuits to hold down skyrocketing insurance rates.