Articles Tagged with nursing home negligence

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A federal court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of a federally-run nursing home that was accused of negligence in the wrongful death of an elderly resident who fell while unsupervised. The reason plaintiff could not prevail, despite filing the case within the applicable state statute of limitations for wrongful death actions, was that it was the federal statute of limitations that actually applied.hospital room

As justices for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit wrote: “To be sure, it is unfortunate when a potentially important claim is lost because a deadline is missed.” Nonetheless, the court wrote, it’s the necessary result when a claimant fails to properly assert the claim within the designated statute of limitations, without which claims would be filed long after the ability to recreate what happened would be feasible.

Although this is understandable, it is a nonetheless disappointing outcome, and one that underscores the importance of immediately seeking a consultation with an experienced nursing home injury lawyer at the first suspicion that negligence may have been the cause of a a nursing home injury or death. Continue reading →

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A nursing home operator’s greed in allegedly purchasing nursing homes with the sole intention to flip the property into condominiums led some residents to suffer a premature death. That’s according to a new lawsuit filed by the previous operator of the nursing home, which alleges it sold the nursing home to defendant after defendant reportedly promised to invest in the future of the nursing home and that nothing would change for residents. hotel

However, less than two months after the sale was finalized, according to plaintiff, the new administrator for the facility started to move patients out for a number of reasons, which reportedly changed depending on who asked. In some instances, administrators said Medicaid patients were being moved to make room for higher-paying patients. Other times, they indicated they had to make room for a new therapy center at the facility.

But by October of 2015, the same year the facility was purchased, the nursing home’s previous owners learned through media reports the company filed a permit to demolish the nursing home, and in its place build a brand new luxury condominium building in a matter of a few weeks. Plaintiff facility argues that by moving residents, some who had lived in the center for many years, they caused undue harm to the health of the patients – some of whom died prematurely. The facility is suing to nullify the sale of the facility, which plaintiff alleged was completed under false pretenses, and to collect damages for the harm that resulted from this misrepresentation.  Continue reading →

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The family of a woman who died after nursing home staff did not take action to resuscitate her when she was found unresponsive has filed a nursing home negligence lawsuit.ambulance

The lawsuit claims the nursing assistant failed to properly read the patient’s chart, and mistakenly believed it stated she did not wish to be resuscitated. However, that was not the case and the 52,-year-old resident, who was initially only supposed to be at the facility a few weeks after suffering a bad case of pneumonia. However, that stay was extended to six months after she allegedly broke her hip after falling while unattended by staffers. She already suffered from kidney disease and diabetes, and that made recovery that much slower.

Then one morning in March 2006, a nursing assistant discovered her unconscious in her bed. About one half hour later, the facility called emergency services to report a death at the site. The caller noted the woman did not wish to be resuscitated and her family was being notified. Ten minutes later, another call was placed to emergency services. This time, the staffer admitted the nursing assistant had misread the chart, and in fact, the woman had wished to be resuscitated. Those efforts were still underway when emergency responders got there. However, they declared her dead upon arrival.  Continue reading →

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U.S. government researchers have discovered elderly people – and nursing home residents in particular – are suffering alarming rates of concussions and brain injuries. heart

Although the exact reason isn’t clear, some opine it has to do with the fact that those who are suffering repeated falls aren’t copping to it. Those who have suffered one fall are more likely to suffer another, and the odds are greater that the next fall will be more severe. But some elderly people may fear that admitting to a fall means they will lose their independence. In turn, they minimize it. Or, in the case of nursing home residents, the fall simply isn’t deemed serious enough for immediate medical attention.

However, what could appear to be a minor incident might actually be much more serious. It could be a concussion. It could even be a traumatic brain injury. In either case, the chances of another fall will be increased.  Continue reading →

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Nursing home residents suffer high rates of facial injuries, according to a recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. In all, approximately 20,000 individuals residing in nursing homes throughout the U.S. have suffered what could be considered “serious facial injuries” at some point in the last 12 months. OLD FACE

Most of these injuries are incurred by falling and hitting hard surfaces. A substantial number also occur due to patients falling while getting in and out of bed.

Given that we already have 1.4 million people living in long-term nursing homes in the U.S. and that the population is aging, programs that focus on preventing fall-related injuries in nursing homes are going to be all the more important. This is especially true considering the severity these types of nursing home injuries can cause – including immense pain, long-term disability and hastened health decline leading to premature death. Continue reading →

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For a brief moment last year, it seemed as if nursing home arbitration agreements might be a thing of the past. That’s because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule barring any nursing home that accepts federal money from CMS (which is virtually all nursing homes) from requiring mandatory arbitration agreements during the admissions process. That was supposed to take effect in November. courtroom

However, a federal judge in Mississippi granted an injunction against implementation of that rule, at the request of a nursing home industry trade group. The CMS quietly released a memo in December indicating it wouldn’t enforce the arbitration rule so long as the injunction was in place. At this point, there remains uncertainty because it isn’t clear how the Trump administration, which oversees CMS, will handle this issue.

So in the meanwhile, courts across the country continue to weigh in. Prior to the injunction, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that an arbitration agreement signed by an adult son on behalf of his father was not binding on his father. The son did not have power of attorney and thus lacked authority to sign the documents on his father’s behalf, and thus his father wasn’t required to have his claim handled by an arbitrator.  Continue reading →

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In an increasing number of places, mandatory nursing home arbitration agreements are being challenged. These agreements are binding contracts, but many people don’t realize that when they sign them as part of the admissions process to a nursing home, they are signing away their right to have any future disputes resolved in court. Instead, those disputes are funneled to an arbitrator, who is not required to follow the law. Proceedings aren’t public and arbitrators more often than not favor the nursing home. Even when damages are awarded to the plaintiff, the sum tends to be for far less than what plaintiff likely would have gotten if the case had gone to trial. brokenglasses

There are many reasons to fight back against enforcement of an arbitration agreement with a nursing home. That’s what some in Minnesota are doing, according to the Star Tribune. In one case, plaintiff believed she had a strong legal case against the nursing home where her father had lived before his sudden death at age 89. There was evidence the assisted living facility failed to respond in a timely manner when her father vomited numerous times and screamed for help while pointing to his badly swollen stomach. After several hours, eh died of complications related to a common hernia, something that was easily treatable had he received prompt medical attention.

When plaintiff sued the nursing home for this, they hit back with a motion to compel arbitration, pointing to an arbitration agreement signed when her father was first admitted to the facility. The nursing home claims the densely-worded contract requires the family to have the dispute resolved in arbitration, even though it involves a claim for wrongful death.  Continue reading →

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Nursing home abuse lawsuits are often filed as medical malpractice actions. That’s because the cases involve the failure of medical staffers – certified nursing assistants, registered nurses and doctors – to abide by the applicable standard of care. The reason why it is important to distinguish between medical malpractice claims and those involving general negligence is that the process for prevailing on a medical malpractice claim is far more involved. Medical malpractice lawsuits require expert witnesses willing to attest that the medical professionals who are defendants in your case did not meet the basic standards of care, and therefore breached their duty to the patient and should be accountable for resulting injuries. gavel

This is a stricter standard than general negligence.

In a recent case out of Georgia, a state appellate court has revived a lawsuit against a physician in a small-town nursing home over the treatment of a patient who died after suffering from an infection at the facility stemming from an untreated pressure sore.  Continue reading →

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In Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community, a federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division, plaintiff alleges a discriminatory denial of equal housing opportunity on the basis of her sexual orientation. Specifically, she says the housing center and its managers failed to protect her from other residents who were hostile, verbally insulting and physically abusing her on a regular basis since it became known that her life partner, now deceased, was a woman. old hands

The woman’s story was recently chronicled by The New York Times, which explained how the 69-year-old plaintiff had been grateful to find the tiny room in the senior living community after losing her life partner of 30 years to colon cancer. She battled health problems herself and didn’t have much in savings. As she began to become acquainted with other residents, she revealed she had raised her son with her partner. That information was not received well, and plaintiff almost instantly knew other residents were upset by it. Word traveled fast.

In the months that followed, she was pushed, shoved and spit on. She suffered injuries including bumps on her head, a black eye and bruising. One male resident in particular was threatened her repeatedly with violence, using obscene language and threatening to “throw you down an elevator shaft.”  Continue reading →

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The children of the elderly woman pleaded with hospital staffers to save their mother, who was suffering from bedsores and pneumonia. The staffers had the resources. They had the tools and the equipment. What they didn’t have, they say, was permission. The woman had previously signed a do-not-resuscitate order. However, her children say the elderly woman lacked the mental capacity to sign such an order – something they tried in vain to argue with the staff as their mother was fighting for her life. She died in that hospital bed of her ailments in 2012. She was 67.hospital sign

Now, Courtroom View Network is covering the developments of the civil lawsuit filed in Texas by her children who alleged medical malpractice against the hospital, the nursing home where she lived for years, the doctor for the nursing home and the physician’s assistant there. There were five opening statements from the defense side – one for each of the five defendants, who are individually represented.

Plaintiffs’ attorney posited to jurors during opening statements that decedent died of pneumonia which was the result of bedsores which were the direct result of nursing home negligence. Further, plaintiff lawyer accused the nursing home of wrongly allowing patient to sign a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order, and also of allowing a neighbor to have medical power of attorney – even though at that time, she suffered signs of severe mental illness.  Continue reading →

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