Physical abuse happens to nursing home residents much more often than most of us can imagine, and often the perpetrator gets away with it. But not always.
Recently, a woman who worked at a nursing home in Pike County, Kentucky, was indicted by a grand jury for the alleged abuse of a nursing home patient in her care. The worker, who was a 32-year-old certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Pikeville, Kentucky, admitted to the court that she went into work while under the influence and then injured a resident’s arm.
The woman pleaded guilty to one count of reckless adult abuse and neglect. Under Kentucky law, the woman’s crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor. She was sentenced to 12 months and was granted probation for 24 months, according to a media report.
How a Criminal Conviction Can be Used in a Civil Case
Nursing home abuse is extremely common, with a significant percentage of residents reporting that they have been mistreated either physically or verbally during their stay. If a resident or his or her family is able to prove that a nursing home, assisted living facility, or long-term care center was negligent with regard to the abuse of a patient, a legal action may arise. In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff is required to prove that the nursing home owed a legal duty, that the duty was breached, that the patient or the patient’s family suffered damages, and that the nursing home’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of the damages suffered by the plaintiff.
One possible way to prove that a nursing home breached its duty toward a resident is to show that an employee of the facility mistreated the resident and that the employee has been found guilty of misconduct in criminal court. A criminal conviction does not automatically mean that the facility will be held civilly liable for the harm caused to the resident, but it could be possible if the nursing home is found to have breached its duty with regard to the hiring, training, or retention of the employee in question. Although it is unknown whether the family of the patient who was injured in Pike County has filed (or plans to file) a civil suit against the facility, it would be understandable if they chose to do so.
Get Help with Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Negligence Case
If you believe that your family member has suffered abuse or neglect while a resident of a nursing facility, you should discuss your concerns with an attorney as soon as possible. Strict deadlines limit the time for filing suit in nursing home cases, and failing to timely file a claim will most likely result in the dismissal of your case. To schedule a free initial consultation with a compassionate and hardworking Kentucky nursing home abuse attorney, call English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley today at (270) 781-6500. We serve clients in Bowling Green, Warren County, Simpson County, Logan County, Barren County, and the surrounding areas.
More Blog Posts: