Arkansas Justice Won't Recuse From Nursing Home Case

Nov 10, 2016

Justice Rhonda Wood

An Arkansas Supreme Court justice says she won't recuse from hearing an appeal related to a wrongful-death lawsuit against a nursing home owner who donated thousands of dollars to her campaign two years ago.

Justice Rhonda Wood on Thursday denied the motion asking that she not hear Michael Morton's appeal of a state judge's order granting class-action status in Andrew Phillips' lawsuit against Morton and Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Little Rock. Phillips' mother, who died in 2014, was a resident of the nursing home.

Phillips' attorneys cited contributions Wood had received from Morton and his businesses.

Wood cited several reasons for declining the motion, noting that Morton wasn't involved in her campaign and didn't host any fundraisers for her.