According to a recent article, a resident at a nursing home in New York died after choking on a grilled cheese sandwich provided by nursing home staff. The women had been diagnosed with dementia and required dentures to chew her food, but she was not wearing her dentures at the time she choked on the sandwich. The woman’s son is suing the nursing home for damages due to negligence on the part of nursing home staff.
As Americans live longer and the population continues to age, more and more adults find themselves moving into assisted-living facilities or nursing homes. These facilities provide a wide range of services, including medical care, food services, and assistance with many activities of daily living, like taking a shower, getting dressed, and using the toilet.
Providing such a wide range of services comes with responsibility. In Maryland, nursing homes and assisted living providers must take reasonable care when providing these services, and a failure to take such care is considered negligence. When negligence is committed, residents or their family members may be eligible for compensation for injuries suffered as a result of the negligence.
According to Maryland law, assisted living and nursing home providers may be negligent in three different ways. First, negligence occurs if a nursing home staff member abuses a resident. Abuse has several meanings but is generally equated with the intentional infliction of harm to a resident. Sexual and verbal abuse are two examples of negligent abuse in the nursing home setting.
Negligence also occurs if a nursing home employee neglects a resident’s needs, and the resident is injured due to the employee’s lack of attention and indifference. Neglect can take many forms but commonly occurs when nursing home employees fail to turn or rotate a bedridden resident who is unable to turn himself. This may cause bed sores, which are difficult to treat in aging patients and can even cause death to an otherwise relatively healthy patient. When a resident dies as a result of an employee’s negligence, the resident’s spouse or children may be eligible for compensation for their loss. A lawsuit filed in the wake of a family member’s death is a called a wrongful death action.
The last form of negligence seen in assisted living facilities and nursing homes involves errors in medical treatment, or medical malpractice. Residents in nursing homes regularly need and receive in-house medical care, and injuries that result from careless medical providers are grounds for negligence lawsuits. This is true no matter how old the resident is or how complex (or simple) the resident’s medical needs are at the time of medical treatment. While doctors and other health care providers in nursing homes are often overworked and under-appreciated, Maryland law still requires that they treat nursing home residents with safe and proper care.
When a loved one moves into a nursing home or assisted living facility, family members are forced to trust the facility’s employees. No matter how loving they are, family members simply cannot be present with their loved one 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unfortunately, when family members are not watching, nursing home employees may not be as attentive as they should be. This may cause as much harm to elderly residents as abuse or medical mistakes.
Has One of Your Loved Ones Been Abused, Neglected, or Mistreated in a Maryland Nursing Home?
The lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC understand how infuriating it can be when a family member is neglected or otherwise injured, due to the carelessness of others. Our attorneys share in that anger and also have the experience to maintain a steady hand when emotions are still raw. As a result, the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen are qualified to represent injured residents and their families when mistakes are made. For a free consultation, call Lebowitz & Mzhen at (800) 654-1949.
More Blog Posts:
Deceased Woman’s Family Files Wrongful Death Claim Against Nursing Facility, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 9, 2016.
Federal Government Expands Regulations to Protect Nursing Home Patients from Other Types of Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 19, 2016.