Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawsuit
Nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuits have been on the rise following a $671 million class action award against California-based Skilled Healthcare in July 2010. Relatives of a 78-year-old Alzheimer’s patient have filed a nursing home abuse lawsuit against Pennsylvania-based Quadrangle Retirement Community and its parent organization Sunrise Senior Living for negligence, chronic understaffing, lack of trained workers, and violation of federal nursing home regulations. The lawsuit filed in the Delaware County court in the first week of October has sought unspecified damages accusing the nursing home staff of mocking, abusing, assaulting, forcing to go topless, and humiliating the residents and the management of failing to act despite complaints. A state investigation on their complaint led to arrest of three employees and temporary cancellation of license of the nursing home. The court is expected to make a decision on punitive damages, recovery, and compensation for medical malpractice to the victim and his family when the lawsuit goes on trial next month.
About 1.5 million American citizens live in 17,000 care homes across the country. According to a Congressional report, about one-third of them are reported every year for nursing home abuse lawsuits. A review of state inspection reports highlighted 9,000 abuses, including violence by staff members, and other violations by 5,283 nursing homes reported between 1999 and 2001. A CBS report in 2008 about Helen Love, who died days after being assaulted by an assistant at a Sacramento nursing home, created widespread protest in the country. The law empowers the residents, their family members, and relatives to file nursing home neglect lawsuits seeking damages for mistreatment, abuse, lack of facilities, injuries, illness, wrong medication, failure to diagnose, medical errors, disability, and death. Recovery of insurance and Medicare assistance are also covered under these nursing home abuse lawsuits.
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Grounds for Lawsuit
People turn to nursing homes to ensure that the residents get adequate care and the attention required to lead a happy and injury-free life. However, many of these centers
fail to fulfill their duties to provide general care, quality food and water, hygiene, safety, medical treatment, and other essential requirements. The residents become subject to physical, psychological, and financial exploitation, which rob them of the chance to lead a dignified life. You can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit when any of your relatives are subject to abuses or negligence during stay at a care center on the following grounds:
Physical abuse, including assault by staff or inmates, hitting, burn injuries, too much restraining, confinement, and other forms of assault leading to physical injury.
Psychological abuse, including emotional disturbance, coercion, humiliation, teasing, constant criticism, disrespect, accusations, harassment, intimidation, and behavior that affects emotional health of residents.
Health problems or inadequate medical attention, including malnutrition, improper medication, excessive dosages, drug abuse, failure to diagnose a disease, and lack of trained medical staff.
Financial exploitation, including unauthorized use of residents’ property and money, deception, misuse of pension book or insurance dividends, misrepresentation, using fraudulent means or undue influence to obtain power of attorney or change will, theft of personal belongings, identity theft, forgery, and deprivation of money.
Sexual abuse, such as coercion to indulge in sexual activity, sexual conversion, nudity, inadequate dressing, pornography, and sexual exploitation of any other type.
Negligence, including inadequate attention to comfort, food, weather control measures, and clothing of residents, lack of cleanliness and hygiene, failure to respond to genuine needs, passive neglect, forcible actions, undue restrictions, failure to report self-neglect cases, accidents or injuries due to inadequate attention, and similar actions.
Violation of rights, including actions detrimental to civil and constitutional rights of the elderly.
Abandonment, such as desertion by the staff or leaving residents unattended for a period of time that can endanger their lives.
Institutional abuse, including lack of proper facilities, intentional violation of rights, inaction despite repeated complaints, inadequate trained staff, smoking, drinking, drug abuse, or other dangerous condition inside the premises, failure to control violence by inmates, and violation of regulations governing nursing home services.
Wrongful death caused by prescription error, lack of proper treatment, physical injury, or inadequate safety measures.
Violation of nursing home laws and license regulations enacted by federal and state governments time to time.
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawsuit Compensation Claim
Legal research reports have revealed that more than 50 percent nursing home abuse lawsuits have resulted in favor of plaintiffs and the average compensation is twice the average award in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The award in a nursing home abuse lawsuit usually includes punishment for the erring staff and the following compensation for victims and their families.
Punitive damages imposed on nursing homes to compensate victims for physical and mental harassment.
Recovery of insurance premiums, Medicare and Medicaid paid to the nursing homes for looking after the elderly, and other dues paid.
Medical costs, including hospitalization, because of the negligence of nursing home staff.
Injury and disability claims for sufferings during the stay.
Legal fees, including payment to the attorney.
Other claims, including financial loss suffered.
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawsuit Famous Cases
$5 Million Settlement in NY Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit
In September 2010, the New York state agreed to pay $5 million to the family of a 13-year-old boy to settle a nursing home neglect lawsuit. The boy, who had autism, died in an accident caused due to the slackness of a state care worker. His parents had filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging negligence of the victim during his stay at the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center.
$9.5 Million Georgia Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit Decree
In March 2011, a Walker County court awarded $9 million to a Georgia woman in a nursing home neglect lawsuit. The plaintiff’s husband, a cerebral palsy patient, died due to multiple pressure ulcers and bedsores he was infected with during his stay at Country Crossing Assisted Living. The compensation amounting to $9,502,683 included damages for wrongful death, suffering, and other expenses.
Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
Seven nursing home abuse lawsuits have been filed in a South Dakota court in 2010 accusing the staff of Minnesota-based Evangelical Good Samaritan Society of abusing and humiliating residents between January and May 2008. The nursing home employed teenagers, who are not trained to look after the elderly, and they made fun of residents. The lawsuits accused that the care center management failed to adequately train and monitor its staff.
New York Class Action Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
In November 2010, a class action nursing home abuse lawsuit was initiated against Legacy Health Care, which operates a number of care centers in western New York. According to the lawsuit, inadequate care by its nursing home staff led to deterioration in the health of residents and interference in their right to live a dignified life. The plaintiffs have also accused the operator of fraud, violation of legal provisions, and breach of contract.
$640 Million Verdict in Class Action Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit
A Humboldt County court awarded $640 million in class action nursing home abuse lawsuit against Skilled Healthcare Group, which has 22 homes in California, in July 2010. The jury accepted the claim that nursing home had inadequate staff and failed to provide direct care for 3 hours and 12 minutes to each resident every day, as stipulated by the state law. This led to a spate of nursing home neglect lawsuits in the state. In October 2011, a woman filed a nursing home abuse lawsuit against Petaluma Health and Rehabilitation for inadequate care of her 80-year-old mother. The plaintiff has accused that lack of appropriate care, medical treatment, food, and supervision resulted in the victim suffering from malnutrition and infection.