Family's nightmare over veteran's death ends after 5-year court battle

The family of a WWII veteran who was murdered at the home in 2012 is finally getting closure five years after his death.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The family of 84-year old Andrew Ball is finally getting closure more than five years after his beating inside the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans led to his death.

Ball's attorney Peter Smit confirmed to the 13 Watchdog team the family reached a financial settlement with the state of Michigan over Ball's death. The family contended workers at the Home for Veterans didn't do enough to protect Ball who was an Alzheimer's patient at the facility. 

They also said people at the home didn't do enough to help Ball after he was injured in a fight with another veteran. 

Ball was attacked when he wandered into another member's room in April 2012 after escaping from the secured dementia unit at the facility. He died about a week after the beating from injuries sustained in the fight. 

The 86-year-old veteran who punched Ball in his own room was not charged with homicide in the case.

Over the life of the case, Ball's wife, daughter, brother and sister have all died. Smit said several other family members of Ball are still in the area and approved the settlement with the state. The family's attorney said the settlement was in the mid-to-high six figures.

The case wound its way through the court system for many years. The state of Michigan originally filed for summary disposition in the case claiming it was immune from this type of civil lawsuit. Inevitably, the Michigan Court of Appeals sided with the family because the negligence claimed by Ball's family was related to his treatment. 

The Michigan Supreme Court denied the state's motion to toss the case and ultimately it was settled out of court.

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