Articles Posted in nursing home negligence

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Numerous nursing homes in Florida are still non-compliant with a new rule that requires facilities to prove they can run generators for four days without power and keep inside temperatures at 80 degrees or less. It required that nursing homes submit their plans to the state by Oct. 31st and be in compliance with the rule by Nov. 15th, or else begin incurring a $1,000-a-day fine. nursing home negligence

Emergency Rule 59AER17-1 is under legal challenge, but the rule is intended to prevent nursing home deaths like more than a dozen that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Irma, when facilities were without power. Those residents all died of heat-related causes when the facility in which they were housed did not have a working generator to keep the residents safe from the South Florida swelter.

As of Nov. 8th, there were still 18 facilities that had yet to offer up proof of compliance with the rule.  Continue reading →

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A pair of emergency rules requiring Florida assisted living facilities and nursing homes to be equipped with generators to effectively cool and fuel buildings for 96 hours has been struck down by an Administrative Law Judge. Gov. Rick Scott promised to appeal the court order immediately.nursing home wrongful death

The judge handed down a 66-page ruling, wherein he stated the state had failed to establish it was necessary to increase the self-sufficiency of nursing homes and assisted living facility sites in the event of an emergency.

The judge went on to explain in the order that the remedy for this emergency deficit cannot reasonably be enacted by the deadline of Nov. 15th. Scott railed against the order, saying the judge’s legal reasoning was short-sighted. He vowed to appeal the order and continue working to make the rules permanent. Continue reading →

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Several families are pursuing litigation against a South Florida nursing home after a disastrous post-hurricane evacuation resulted in more than a dozen deaths. However, in order to do so, they will face significant legal hurdles.nursing home abuse attorney

Nursing home abuse attorneys in West Palm Beach recognize that these cases are difficult, but not impossible. Although most civil injury and wrongful death cases are settled prior to trial, having an experienced litigator and trial attorney is necessary. Preparation, skill and experience are critical.

At this juncture, Bloomberg Law reports at least 10 lawsuits have been filed against the Hollywood Hills nursing home that evacuated in September, days after Hurricane Irma cut off power to the air conditioning system at the facility. Fourteen residents died. However, holding the owners of the facility responsible could prove difficult. There are several reasons for this. Continue reading →

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Elder financial abuse is a serious and growing problem in nursing homes across the country. Most often, it’s classified as an issue that occurs when a caregiver – usually a family member – takes advantage of the elderly person’s trust or position of need. However, it happens in nursing home facilities too where a company misrepresents the quality of care to patients, prospective patients, family members and government agencies that pay for this care. nursing home abuse

Recently in California, four residents living in residential care facilities owned by a single chain provider sued the company’s founder and developer, alleging fraudulent practices that exposed them to risk of injury and deprived them of necessary care.

According to the Press-Democrat, the lawsuit alleges residents were discovered on the ground, left soiled for hours at a time and at least one suffered an unexplained injury due to perpetual understaffing that amounted to fraud. The company reportedly misrepresented the care it was providing residents when it came time to collecting federal healthcare benefits for those patients. Further, the facility fees, which in some cases were $10,000 per resident per moth, were based on budgets crafted to rake in the highest profits, rather than assess the individual needs of each resident.  Continue reading →

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As Hurricane Irma loomed off the coast of Florida in the first week of September, state officials warned the public to be ready. Now, a South Florida nursing home is accused of failing to do just that, and also of a serious breach in patient care that led to the deaths of 10 elderly, vulnerable residents who went days without power in the sweltering heat. Several of those who died had body temperatures between 107 and 109 degrees. nursing home neglect

The deaths have sparked outrage, a criminal investigation and at least a handful of lawsuits from victims or relatives of those who died, alleging negligence.

According to The Miami Herald, plaintiffs allege their loved ones were victims of a facility that not only failed to prepare for the possibility of no power, but also of not evacuating when conditions became more serious. The nursing home lacked power for three whole days, and administrators said they repeatedly tried calling the governor’s office for help. But meanwhile, directly across the street, was a fully-functional, air conditioned hospital.  Continue reading →

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Some nursing home patients seek care for the long-term expecting they will live out their days in that facility. Others know they will need longer-term, less intensive care than might be provided in a hospital, but hope eventually to improve and return to living independently.nursing home abuse lawyer

But when nursing home care is substandard, patients’ health may not improve as expected. In some cases, a patient’s health declines. Nursing homes that are negligent in providing proper care may be held accountable for the negative impact to patients’ health.

Accountability is the goal of one Boca Raton man, alleging treatment at a poorly staffed nursing home in South Florida amounted to negligence and left him requiring more medication and needing treatment longer than he otherwise would have.  Continue reading →

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A lawsuit recently filed in North Carolina alleges an elderly woman suffered in agony for 10 days with a broken hip after suffering a fall that went untreated and unreported by her nursing home.wheelchair

According to local media reports, plaintiff was a known fall risk when she was admitted to the facility, and there was even an alarm on her wheelchair intended to notify staffers if she were to get up.

Plaintiff alleges she called for an attendant to help her to the bathroom. However, there was no response, and as nature called, she decided to get up on her own. As she did so, she slipped and fell. This resulted in serious injury.  Continue reading →

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The White House is pushing to scuttle a rule that would have paved the way for more nursing home residents to take legal action against nursing homes for poor care, abuse and neglect. Such injuries for nursing home negligence are actionable under state personal injury laws. However, the Obama administration had made it easier for plaintiff’s by preventing nursing homes from mandating new patients agree to arbitration – as opposed to the court system – to resolve any future disputes. nursing home negligence

Many nursing homes require new patients, patient representatives and family members to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of being admitted to the facility. Arbitration agreements are known to infringe on the rights of patients for a number of reasons. Firstly, arbitrators are chosen by the facilities and insurers, creating an implicit bias. Arbitrators are not bound by the laws of the state. The proceedings are private, depriving the public of valuable information regarding the practices and shortcomings of these facilities. They also tend more often than not to favor the facility, awarding less on average than the courts when they do decide a case in a plaintiff’s favor.

As The New York Times reported, the Trump administration is now seeking to roll back earlier protections, citing the need to reduce costs for businesses.  Continue reading →

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While many states – including Florida – offer extensive information about abuse and neglect reports generated from care in nursing homes and hospitals, most make it very difficult to obtain information on the care in state-regulated facilities. In one example recently chronicled by the Associated Press, a man rendered severely and permanently disabled by a car accident more than a quarter century ago suffered for weeks with an infestation of maggots.nursing home neglect

According to the report, the man, who is unable to walk, talk or even breathe on his own, was helpless when the tiny larval flies invaded a hole in his throat near his breathing tube. It was the first of two such infestations he suffered, resulting in numerous hospital emergency department trips and extensive treatment. A subsequent investigation by the state revealed his caretakers neglected him for days at a time, allowing the infestation to take hold. And yet, despite the egregiousness in the lapse of care, no one might have learned anything about it had the AP not made specific and detailed requests for the information.

As noted by the reporters, it’s far simpler for a member of the public to learn about possible health code violations in a restaurant than to learn about errors or lapses in care at institutions run by the state. That kind of information could be invaluable to those searching for information about where to send a loved one who requires around-the-clock medical care.  Continue reading →

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A class action lawsuit has been settled for $345,000 after dozens of patients and family members of patients allege they were given powerful drugs without due consideration for the harmful impact those drugs may have on patients. nursing home abuse

In one example, the son of a nursing home patient alleged he was explicit in explaining his mother’s wishes and directing doctors not to give her any painkillers except aspirin and no antipsychotic medications. Despite this, they gave her Restoril, an anti-anxiety medication, Norco (a pain medication with a high risk for addiction and dependency also known to cause respiratory distress) and Lexapro, an SSRI anti-depressant. Plaintiff alleged the nursing home signed a paper saying the doctor had received consent from patient and/ or health care power of attorney to administer the drugs, but no such permission had been given. Other patients/ families alleged they were given anitpsychotic medications to suppress certain symptoms of dementia – a practice known as “chemical restraints” that is not only largely ineffective, it can be harmful. It’s generally done more the convenience of staffers than for the benefit of the patient.

Although the amount of money to be awarded to each family is minimal, but plaintiffs say their larger goal was to compel changes at the facility. As part of the settlement agreement, the facility will be required to undergo random spot inspections of health records. The nursing home must enact clear standards explaining the benefits and risks of psycho-therapeutic drugs to residents and/ or legal representatives. Continue reading →

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