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Articles Posted in Wrongful death

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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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syringe

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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rodeo riderThe obvious defendant in a motor vehicle accident case is the person whose negligent driving caused the wreck. However, for a variety of reasons, it is possible that other defendants may be named in some lawsuits. In a fatal drunk driving accident, the plaintiff may want to sue those besides the driver who the plaintiff believes is partially responsible for the state of intoxication the driver was in.

It is usually to the plaintiff’s advantage to name as many potential defendants as possible in order to increase the chances of a settlement or judgment, especially if some defendants may be be uninsured, underinsured, or immune from suit.

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timing device

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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Mother and her son looking outDepending upon the law of the state in which a person dies, it may be possible for his or her survivors to file a wrongful death lawsuit, a survival action, or both. Typically, state law also dictates who has the right to file suit, the appropriate lawsuit(s), the types of damages that may be sought, and how the proceeds will be divided among the various interested parties.

Difficulties sometimes arise in identifying the proper party to bring the suit. When this happens, it is up to the trial court judge to apply the law to the particular facts of the case. If any litigant is dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling, he or she may seek relief in the court of appeals, or thereafter the state supreme court.

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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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glass case, antiques, premesis liability, wrongful death, injuriesWhen a person is injured on someone else’s property, or when a loved one dies as a result of an accident on another party’s property, there is the possibility of filing a premises liability lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

However, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. Business and landowners are very resistant to a finding of liability and will fight hard for a dismissal of the case if at all possible.

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product liability lawsuit

Where do you file a product liability lawsuit?

Most of the time, the answer is simple. You file it where the actionable issue occurred. If you live in Kentucky and that’s where the accident happened, it’s easy to determine you file your lawsuit in Kentucky.

Sometimes, there are multiple possibilities for where to file a suit. If the opposing party doesn’t like the plaintiff’s choice of court, the opposing party can ask for a dismissal of the case or, in some situations, a transfer. If the plaintiff disagrees with the trial court’s order regarding jurisdiction or choice of forum, the plaintiff can file an appeal.

Once the proper court has been decided, another possible issue is that of choice of law. Typically, this question arises when an issue could possibly be resolved according to the law of two or more states. However, sometimes, the choice of law question involves the law of differing nations.

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nursing home assaultsWhen someone mentions nursing home abuse, chances are, you think of injuries inflicted on patients by the staff that is supposed to be caring for residents. But the staff aren’t always the ones perpetrating abuse. Sometimes abuse comes at the hands of other residents, and it’s no wonder it happens. Residents are, at times, confused as to where they are and who those around them might be, or sometimes taking medications with side effects that can include exacerbating anger issues.

In fact, such mistreatment among fellow nursing home residents is so prevalent that it triggered a study by Cornell University in 2014. The report determined that, in the population studied by the university, about one in five residents suffered resident-on-resident mistreatment during a four-week period. Verbal incidents like screaming or cursing were most common, followed by events such as a resident entering another’s room to go through his or her possessions. Physical altercations, such as hitting or biting, and incidents of sexual misconduct, such as exposure or touching, were also noted in the survey.

A Scottsville, Kentucky personal care home even had a murder . According to reports, the victim of the murder was a 71-year-old man who was strangled with a lamp cord in his room at the Scottsville facility. Reports also suggest that the man’s 35-year-old roommate may have been responsible for the crime.

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Black and White empty intersection with crosswalks

By Kyle Roby, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

At one time, a person injured by the negligence of a governmental entity was without a remedy, due to the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Basically a carryover from the English common law under which “the King could do no wrong,” the doctrine precluded a would-be plaintiff from asserting what might otherwise have been a meritorious claim against a state or local government.

Now, however, most governmental entities have consented to be sued through various tort claims acts. Such acts set forth the procedure for filing a claim, the statute of limitations, and the maximum damages that may be sought. It is important to note that, since such actions are purely statutory in nature, an injured person must strictly comply with all procedural requirements, or else his or her suit will likely be dismissed.

Even when all requirements are met, it is ultimately up to the courts to determine whether a particular claim is valid.

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