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Articles Posted in Nursing home abuse

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By Jessica Surber, Attorney

English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP

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Our firm routinely handles nursing home abuse, neglect and wrongful death cases. We see families every day who have trusted their loved ones to assisted living facilities or nursing homes but have found that the care was not up to basic standards.

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By Jessica Surber, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

News stories about abuse and neglect in nursing homes are become more and more common – as are civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions involving nursing homes and nursing home employees.

Recently, a high-profile national news organization investigated the topic, paying particular attention to the topic of sexual assault of the frail and elderly who typically populate assisted living centers, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes.

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patient roomLawsuits arising in the context of nursing home death, abuse or neglect can sometimes involve multiple parties and several legal theories of liability. The various issues between the parties may be settled prior to trial by agreement, by the trial court through summary judgment, or at trial between the remaining parties.

A recent case from a nearby state illustrates some of the procedural hurdles that can arise when a nursing home patient is allegedly a victim of both nursing home neglect and medical malpractice by a physician practicing geriatric medicine.

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By Bob Young, attorney

Our firm is representing the estate and family of a Scottsville, Kentucky, nursing home resident who died at the facility at the hands of another resident – a death that we believe was entirely preventable.

We filed suit in the case this week in Allen County Circuit Court on behalf of the estate and the family.

The facts of the case are as follows.

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A medication error can be deadly. In this case in a Kentucky nursing home, a certified medical technician gave insulin to someone who didn’t need it, and the patient died. Two other patients were injected by this same technician, but they lived through the ordeal.

Most nursing homes and hospitals have protocols for ensuring that patients receive the right medicine. If a patient is still the victim of a medication error, that is an act of negligence or even abuse, and families of that patient can take action.

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By Jessica Surber, attorney

When you or a loved one enter a nursing home, you are asked to sign paperwork, in order to be admitted. Most of the forms you fill out provide much-needed medical information and cover things such as payment arrangements.

Usually, you’ll also find an agreement that specifies what happens if you or your loved one is injured or dies in the care of the facility, and you believe the facility is at fault. The agreement indicates that should you have a dispute with the care facility, you and the nursing home will go to binding arbitration, rather than court, to settle your differences or to seek compensation if the nursing home patient was injured or died.

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delirium, brain scan, elderly, nursing homeWhen a person suffers from delirium, he or she may have confused thinking, a reduction in awareness of his or her environment, a general lack of focus, and other symptoms of cognitive impairment. Behavioral changes such as hallucinations, restlessness, and lethargy are also common, as are emotional disturbance issues such as anxiety and depression.

According to media reports, a recent study from Brown University indicated that nursing home residents who are admitted to care with delirium are at increased risk as compared to residents without such a condition. The study, which analyzed over 5.5 million residents’ medical records, indicated that there were almost a quarter of a million seniors admitted to nursing homes with delirium from 2011 to 2014.

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elderly woman's handsPhysical 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.

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Let’s suppose that there is a very important event coming up in your life – your parents’ golden wedding anniversary party or your child’s last middle school basketball game. The event takes place as scheduled, but you don’t get there until the lights are turned off and the door is locked. Maybe you got the date wrong or were confused about the location. It really doesn’t matter. You missed the big event, and there is no way to wind back the clock.

The statute of limitations in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is similar to this situation. If your claim is not filed by the deadline, you have no opportunity to pursue damages, metaphorically speaking.

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medical uniformsNursing home neglect and abuse is a serious and growing problem, both in Kentucky and across the nation. Fortunately for the families of those whose loved ones have been harmed by abuse, neglect, or other wrongful conduct, there are laws in place that can help hold the responsible parties financially accountable for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Many lawsuits have already been filed against nursing homes, seeking compensation for personal injuries and wrongful deaths allegedly caused by negligent or reckless nursing home owners and staff members. Recently, a nursing home injury lawsuit in another state ended in a sizeable verdict in favor of a deceased nursing home resident’s family.

In total, the jury in the case reportedly awarded $5.5 million in damages, which included $57,000 for negligence, $500,000 for wrongful death, and $5 million in punitive damages.

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