When a loved one enters a nursing or rehabilitation home, there is an expectation that they will be provided with the best care and service for the duration of their stay. Within the nursing home industry, there is a standard of care for the elderly and sick. When that standard of care is not adhered to and injury or death results, a nursing home negligence lawsuit may be the victim’s best option to recover for damages.
Many patients who reside in these types of facilities have neurological conditions such as dementia, or another condition that renders them incapable of caring for basic needs and therefore require around-the-clock care from staff in order to survive comfortably. Major problems arise when our most vulnerable patients are not properly cared for, especially in a setting where they are supposed to be watched and cared for every day. When the expected standard of care is not met, and patients in these homes are injured or die, families often choose to seek answers and accountability through appropriate lawsuits.
What is nursing home negligence?
A nursing home resident can sue for physical, emotional, or psychological damage if there was negligence on the part of the nursing home. These types of facilities have a duty of care that they must provide, but if there was something that the nursing home did or didn’t do that caused an injury, or even death, and it can be proven that what they did or didn’t do led to that injury or death, a resident or family member can bring proper action against the home.
What needs to be proven?
Negligence on the behalf of the home will have to be proven. An expert witness will be required to show that there was a breach in the standard of care at the nursing home, and that breach caused the injury or death. Usually expert witnesses are geriatric experts, but they can be another type of medical expert as well.
Hollywood Hills Nursing Home Deaths
Following Hurricane Irma in September 2017, 11 elderly residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills passed away in sweltering conditions due to an air conditioning outage at the facility. Lawsuits from the family members of the deceased are being filed against the home for not providing an acceptable standard of care for the patients who suffered in the South Florida heat in the building.
According to the lawsuits, the patients suffered for days in high temperatures because the facility failed to provide generator-powered AC in the days following Irma. Additionally, according to the families of the deceased patients, the nursing home staff failed to make timely calls for emergency assistance, despite the fact that there is a major hospital across the street from the facility. By the time that emergency calls had been made, patients were going into cardiac arrest, and eight patients died within a short time of each other, possibly due to heat-related illnesses. Three other patients passed away in the following days due to their injuries sustained in the heat of the home after the storm.
If you, or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a nursing or rehabilitation home, it’s important that you contact a personal injury attorney with experience in nursing home negligence cases as soon as possible.
Ellis, R. (2017, September 26). Nursing home death ‘could have been prevented,’ family says. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/health/florida-nursing-home-death-lawsuit/index.html
ELLEN GABLER, SHERI FINK and VIVIAN YEE. (2017, September 23). At Florida Nursing Home, Many Calls for Help, but None That Made a Difference. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/us/nursing-home-deaths.html
Nursing Home Abuse Law. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2017, from http://www.panterlaw.com/video/nursing-home-abuse-law/