Articles Tagged with nursing home abuse lawyer

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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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Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, there is no denying that Medicaid is the by far the biggest funding source for care of those in U.S. nursing homes. It supports approximately three-fifths of the residents who receive care at nursing home facilities. A health care bill being weighed by lawmakers would enact significant cuts to the Medicaid program, and there is concern, as noted in a recent Op-Ed in The New York Times, that this could gut benefits for nursing home residents, which could mean their level of care could take a hit. nursing home abuse lawyer

In fact, there is concern many nursing homes, without that steady income, would be forced to shutter their doors, leaving elderly residents high-and-dry.

The American Health Care Act (passed by the House but later scuttled) would reduce Medicaid funding by $834 billion. Meanwhile, the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act, would still slash Medicaid funding by $772 billion by 2026. This is especially troubling considering people are living longer lives than every, with many requiring a high level of care in their last years. Almost 42 percent of nursing home patients are over the age of 85, but there are also a significant number of patients whose home-and-community-based care is covered by Medicaid as well. Because Medicaid payments for assisted living facilities has been frozen at $49 daily since 2010, many people are unable to access this option, even if they may be better-served by this than 24-7 care. The potential for these cuts would make both options much less attainable.  Continue reading →

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Although our population as a whole is growing older, an increasing number of nursing homes are taking on younger patients. This can lead to conflict and potentially danger for those most vulnerable. hands of time

Recently on NPR Morning Edition, KRCC in Colorado explored this phenomenon, attributing the situation largely to the fact that there are very few long-term care facilities for younger people in need of constant care. These would include individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries who need around-the-clock care and assistance.

One case detailed by the station involves a man in his 40s. In 2015, he suffered a traumatic brain injury when he reportedly “head-butted a car” and “scrambled the old brain bucket” (those are his own words). Today, he struggles with speech. Daily tasks are a challenge. He spent several months in a nursing home, where the majority of residents were over the age of 65. However, he was one of a growing number of under-65 residents at the facility. This is not an isolated phenomenon, and we see it in Florida too.  Continue reading →

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State lawmakers in Texas haven’t given up the fight to hold accountable nursing homes that provide substandard care. It will be the second time state lawmakers are making the effort, after a failed bid two years ago. holdinghands

The push involves three bills that would make it more difficult for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, such as assisted living facilities and home community service agencies, to cower from regulatory discipline and litigation when wrongdoing has been uncovered.

One measure involves imposing higher fines on facilities where inspectors have discovered serious violations that breach the care and safety of residents. Another measure would do away with the so-called “right to correct,” a legal loophole that gives many nursing homes an out in avoiding disciplinary action if administrators “correct” the violation after it’s discovered upon inspection. The final measure would require nursing home facilities to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance, which would make it easier for victims and loved ones to recover damages in the event the facility is found liable of nursing home abuse, neglect or negligence.  Continue reading →

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A CNN Investigations report delved into the pervasive and disturbing – but hugely underreported – issue of nursing home sexual abuse. wheelchair

Noting that “it’s impossible to know” the exact number of victims who suffer this abuse, state and federal data, along with interviews with experts, regulators and families of victims indicates this problem is far more common than what one might suspect. Worse is the fact that many times, neither the nursing home nor government regulators that oversee these facilities seem to do be doing much to address the issue.

Reporters noted that in some cases, nursing home employees and administrators and government agencies can’t get far with these investigations because victims are unable to communicate what happened to them or even identify who it was that caused them harm. However, there are a substantial number of cases wherein negligence and even willful concealment is at issue. The news organization detailed cases in which nursing home administrators were slow to investigate and report allegations, often because, as they would later explain, they didn’t want to believe the allegations were true. Police often approach these matters with great skepticism, often using any opportunity to dismiss the victim’s statements due to allegations that aren’t concise or memories that are failing. Further, because there is a high standard of proof when it comes to substantiating an allegation of abuse by a state regulator, even individuals who have been repeatedly accused of abuse may never be red-flagged.  Continue reading →

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A woman is suing a nursing home in Virginia, alleging her 84-year-old mother was tied to a wheelchair with bed sheets and injected with a powerful narcotic drug in an effort to keep her quiet. The physical and chemical restraints forced on the elderly woman were reportedly kept in place overnight. wheelchair

Such information, if proven, would likely be a violation of criminal laws as well as the patient’s civil and resident rights. Specifically, patients have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, to be free from abuse and neglect and to be free from restraints. Nursing homes aren’t allowed to use physical restraints, such as side rails, or chemical restraints, such as drugs, to discipline patients or for the staff’s own convenience.

The Virginian-Pilot reports local police were not contacted about the case and there haven’t been any criminal charges filed. However, the state’s health department received to complaints regarding the alleged incident, indicating at least two patients were placed in restraints the nursing home. Ultimately, the department devised a correctional plan.  Continue reading →

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Workers at state-run nursing homes face a higher risk of on-the-job injuries than construction workers or those in manufacturing.stethascope

That’s based on the latest figures from the annual report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on workplace illnesses and injuries. There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses across the private sector last year and another 753,000 in the public sector, according to the Labor Department. On the whole, that works out to three injuries per 100 full-time workers in the private industry and 5.1 injuries per 100 full-time workers in state and local government. Meanwhile, when it comes to nursing home employees, those who work at state-run nursing homes and residential care facilities are injured at a rate of 12 per 100 full-time workers. This represents more than 13,700 cases of recorded injury or illness suffered by nursing home employees last year. That’s even more than local police, who suffered an injury rate of 11.3 per 100 workers. The Bureau of Labor pointed out also that these figures are actually low because these incidents are often unreported.

Work-related injuries among nursing home workers can have a direct impact on the quality of care that patients receive. First of all, a facility that is well-run prioritizes the safety of all who are present – including the employees, who are critical to the process. A facility that does not have or does not enforce worker safety guidelines is not likely to do so when it comes to patient safety either. Continue reading →

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A woman in Oregon has filed a $2.7 million lawsuit against a nursing home, as well the physical therapy and hospice providers who were on contract with the facility, for alleged negligence resulting in the death of her elderly mother and stepfather. wheelchair

According to The Register-Guard, the woman alleges in her wrongful death lawsuit that administrators and therapists at the facility failed to meet the needs of her parents, ages 91 and 92, and that this failure resulted in their premature deaths, just weeks apart from one another.

Plaintiff’s stepfather was 92 when he died in late 2014, and her mother was 91 when she died just a few weeks later. Plaintiff is the representative for the separate estates of both parents, who had each previously been diagnosed with dementia and were deemed a serious fall risk. Even though the nursing home had this knowledge, plaintiff asserts, staffers failed to prevent them from falling numerous times, leading to serious injuries and the acceleration of their deaths.  Continue reading →

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A national nursing home chain with dozens of locations in Florida (including in Orlando) has agreed to pay $145 million to resolve a government lawsuit alleging the company violated the federal False Claims Act by intentionally causing its facilities to submit claims to Medicare and Tricare for rehab services that were not:

  • Reasonable;
  • Skilled;
  • Necessary. elder

The chain, Life Care Centers of America, Inc. is based in Tennessee and owns/ operates more than 220 nursing homes across the U.S. Its Florida facilities are listed here. Cases like this matter to patients not just because they involve defrauding taxpayers of federal money, but because vulnerable, elderly residents often end up receiving therapy they do not need and that, in some cases, is harmful.

This $145 million settlement is the largest the U.S. Department of Justice has ever made with a skilled nursing home facility, according to a recent press releaseContinue reading →

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A $2 million settlement agreed upon by government regulators and a nursing home in Pennsylvania will resolve allegations of violating consumer protection statutes by not providing adequate services to nursing home patients, as promised in marketing materials and advertisements. old

The state’s attorney general announced the settlement, which involved a company called Reliant Senior Care Holdings Inc., which was accused of skimping on necessary staffing levels needed to ensure the basic needs of residents would be met at the firm’s nearly two dozen skilled nursing facilities throughout Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the company failed to deliver on its promise of making sure residents’ individualized needs were met and that personalized service was provided.

So low were the staffing levels at some of these nursing homes, according to the attorney general, that basic, life-sustaining functions – eating, drinking, daily hygiene and incontinence care – were not met on a daily basis.  Continue reading →

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