Nursing Home Neglect Case – $590,000 Settlement
As a result of carotid artery and quadruple cardiac bypass surgeries, this woman required a tracheostomy to assist with her breathing. Then after spending considerable time in the hospital, she was transferred to a well-known nursing home to care for her needs and tend to the special requirements of a tracheostomy patient.
But unfortunately, the trust that her family placed in this nursing home was misplaced as time and time again her children saw evidence of neglect when they visited. Failure to properly and promptly care for their mother’s needs led to dehydration, pneumonia and sepsis, eventually contributing to her untimely wrongful death. Her children were left searching for answers and hired our attorneys to help. After lengthy negotiations with representatives for the nursing home, a fair and just settlement in excess of $590,000.00 was reached on behalf of her appreciative family.
When Nursing Homes Fail
What could be more important than entrusting your loved one to the care of others? It’s often so difficult to find a nursing home you believe will provide the proper loving care and also will fit within your financial parameters. But even when money is no object in choosing such a facility, it’s easier said than done to sort out the good from the bad; the truth from the hype. It seems these days, every nursing home has a glossy brochure with smiling faces and a colorful website. So all you can do is to do your best in making your selection and then try to be as observant as possible.
Nursing homes are no better or worse than the sum of their parts. That is to say, even with the very best intentions, if the entire support staff is not attentive, caring and skilled, problems will arise. Or it may be that the staff is in fact of excellent character at the time the patient enters their care, yet due to employee turn over, new less qualified medical staff comes onboard over time, and the quality of care deteriorates. Keeping qualified employees is a constant issue for long term care facilities, because the work is hard, the hours are long, and the pay is sometimes low.
Sometimes, a member of the medical staff will make unintentional mistakes that threaten the health of the resident. Although never an excuse, such errors may occur because of over-work or because the staffer was distracted. Yet in other circumstances, nurses, orderlies or other employees may injure the nursing home resident purposefully or by turning a blind eye to the resident’s needs.
Elder Abuse and Neglect
According to the Nation Council on Aging, about 1 in every 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some kind of elder abuse. Federal nursing home laws define abuse as an intentional infliction of injury, punishment, confinement, or intimidation that causes physical or mental harm. Neglect is a failure, whether it is on purpose or not, that deprives the resident of services or care that are needed to keep them free from pain or harm. Some common examples are:
- Use of physical restraints
- Kicking, shaking, pinching, slapping, pushing
- Emotional abuse include threats of violence
- Sexual battery or assault
- Using medications or psychotropic drugs to control behavior
- Failing to care for the resident’s medical problems
- Failing to ensure basic necessary cleanliness, food or water
When medical staff abuses or neglects a resident, some of the commons signs to watch for include:
- Accidents including broken bones or hips
- Malnutrition or rapid weight loss
- Bed sores
- Reluctance to talk in front of staff
- Unexplained cuts, bruises or wounds
- Sudden changes in loved one’s behavior
- Unexplained or sudden death