Articles Posted in Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes

Earlier this month, a Kentucky judge ordered a nursing home to pay the estate of one of the home’s prior residents $18 million after it was determined that the home was responsible for the wrongful death of the resident. According to one local news report, the woman spent the five years prior to her death in the nursing facility, but towards the end of her life she suffered greatly due to a lack of care.

Evidently, the deceased resident was allegedly forced to remain in soiled briefs for extended periods of time before a nursing home employee attended to her needs and changed her. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that there was evidence this was the policy of the nursing facility in order to save on the costs of the one-time-use briefs.

It is also alleged that the woman developed severe bed sores, resulting in her nerve endings becoming exposed. Ultimately, she did develop a number of serious infections, including E. coli. She also had developed severe skin rashes and lost the use of her arms and legs while in the facility.

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Earlier this year in a Maryland nursing home, the family of an 85-year-old woman who died in an nursing home filed suit against the facility that was supposed to be caring for their loved one. According to one local news report, the family claims that their loved one died without any staff member at her side, despite hours of complaints of pain and requests for help from family members.

Evidently, the family of the woman was at the nursing home just 30 hours before her death, and they recorded their loved one in agony, moaning and crying for help. Allegedly, despite the woman’s efforts, as well as those of her family members, no nursing home staff member came to attend to or to assist the woman. Eventually, her family left her side, and 30 hours later she died.

The woman’s family filed a case against the nursing home, alleging that the home’s negligence was the cause of the woman’s early death. The woman’s daughter-in-law told reporters that she was pleading with the nursing staff, “Why can’t you help her? Why you gotta get somebody? Why can’t you just help her?”

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Earlier this month in West Virginia, a woman sued a local nursing home, claiming that the home was responsible for the death of her loved one. Specifically, she claimed that the nursing home was negligent for intentionally understaffing the home, increasing the danger of a serious incident occurring.

According to one local news report, the deceased became a resident of the nursing home in April of this year. During her short stay at the nursing home, she suffered from falls, pressure sores, pneumonia, weight loss, and a urinary tract infection before she passed away on September 17.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit claims that the defendant nursing home was aware of budgetary constraints that had resulted in short staffing. These staffing problems had led to deficits in patient care. However, when the nursing home explained its services to the plaintiff prior to her deciding to place her loved one there, it presented itself as a dedicated and capable facility.

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A few years back, in 2010, a 94-year-old woman died while a patient in a San Diego nursing home after she was run over by a large food cart. According to a report by one local news source, the woman’s family recently reached a settlement agreement with the defendant nursing home.

Evidently, the nursing home uses large carts to transport the residents’ meals and other equipment. These carts are over six feet tall and about 2-3 feet wide. The carts do not have slats or any way for people pushing the cart to see through or around the cart as they are moving it. Therefore, it is nursing-home policy that any time a cart is moved, two employees should be assigned to the cart.

However, when the 94-year-old woman was struck by the cart, it was only being pushed by one person. In fact, it seems as though the facility rarely, if ever, used two employees to control the cart.

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Recently, a Massachusetts jury delivered one of the largest verdicts in state history to a family who lost their loved one after a nursing home failed to provide adequate care for her during her final years. According to a report by the Boston Globe, the nursing home, which is located in Danvers, provided grossly negligent care resulting in the woman’s death.

Evidently, the woman was taken to the hospital when she fell out of her wheelchair. Upon being examined by ER doctors, the woman was found to have an open pressure sore on her back, acute appendicitis, a severe urinary tract infection that had invaded her blood stream, kidney failure, uncontrolled diabetes, and severe dehydration.

Doctors did their best to treat the woman. However, she died one month after she was admitted to the hospital. The family of the woman brought suit, claiming that the home’s gross negligence in failing to properly care for their relative caused her death. The woman’s family recounts times that they expressed their concern over their loved one’s health but were told by nursing home employees that nothing was wrong.

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Across the country, nursing home medication errors are causing health problems among nursing home populations. According to a report by a local NBC affiliate out of Chicago, a recent inspection by state health inspectors discovered 384 nursing home medication errors since 2011. Two of these medication errors resulted in death and one required an otherwise unnecessary amputation.

One Person’s Story of Medication Error

The article details the story of a woman who moved her brother to a nursing home after he suffered a stroke and a heart attack and was unable to care for himself. While he was in the care of the nursing home, he developed gastrointestinal cancer. When he first began his course of treatment, he was reacting well to the medication and his condition was stabilizing.

Months later, her brother’s condition began to worsen. Later, the family discovered that the nursing home had not given him his required medication for over a year. By the time the error was caught, the cancer had spread throughout his body and was untreatable. He passed away shortly thereafter.

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A jury recently awarded a Florida man more than $1.1 billion in damages for the alleged negligence his mother had experienced in a local nursing home.

The lawsuit claimed that the man’s 69 year old mother was a resident at the Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center nursing home from 2004 until her death in 2007, and that during this time, she fell some 17 times due to improper supervision.One of the plaintiff’s attorneys in the case told a news agency that the case was about “corporate fraud, corporate greed.” Plaintiffs argued that the corporate defendant took over a nursing home and deliberately short staffed it, failed to fund it adequately, and as a result the home’s residents suffered.

It took the jury just a little over one hour to decide that the man was entitled to $110 million in compensatory damages, and $1 billion in punitive damages. A default judgment was entered against the defendants in 2011; thus the jurors sole responsibility was to determine damages. The judge in the case has rejected requests from the defendants to set aside the default judgments.

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An Alabama nursing home is facing a wrongful death lawsuit following a fire drill gone tragically wrong.

While the circumstances surrounding the accident remain unclear, the victim in this case, a 93 year old woman, was confined to a wheelchair. During what seems to have been a routine fire drill, an employee of the nursing home rolled the woman outside, and apparently left her unattended, or otherwise unsecured. The woman’s wheelchair then rolled down the hill, and threw her into a ditch, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the woman’s estate, alleges that the woman was found lying facedown in water, and was then taken to a hospital where she died three days later. The cause of death was aspiration pneumonia.

The lawsuit claims that the nursing home employees acted negligently in placing the woman in a hazardous area and failing to protect her from harm. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

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A former nursing home resident’s estate has filed suit against the facility the man was living in when he died, accusing the facility of negligence which caused the man to suffer several falls while in its care, which ultimately led to his death.

The suit was filed on behalf of the estate of a former resident who died in September of last year at an Edwardsville, Illinois care facility. The suit alleges that the man was a resident in the facility from July 7, 2012 until the time of his death, which was the result of a subdural hematoma.

The suit specifically alleges that, “The cause of death was a subdural hematoma; said medical condition was a direct result of multiple falls by the decedent, at the Eden Village facility.” According to the complaint, the man suffered falls on at least four separate occasions from the end of July through August. In addition to the falls leading to his death, the estate alleges that the falls caused the plaintiff extensive pain and suffering, and were the ultimate cause of his death.

As a resident, the man required daily living assistance and rehabilitation. Subject to these requirements, the suit claims that the facility failed to care the decedent in a way which encouraged the maintenance and of his quality of life and dignity.
In addition to the wrongful death claims, the suit also alleges various other claims based on negligence. The estate is seeking at least $50,000 in damages for two of its claims.

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The family of an Indiana woman, who is believed to have died due to the injuries she suffered as a result of an altercation related to her Alzheimer’s and dementia, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home where she was living when she died. The suit accuses the nursing home of being negligent, and thus at least partly responsible for the woman’s death.

According to the local coroner’s office, the woman’s cause of death was a failure to thrive due to subdural and subarachnoid hematomas, which were the result of blunt force trauma that she suffered after a fall during an altercation with another resident.

The report from the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, which was linked to in the story written by a local newspaper, concluded that among other things:

“Based on observation, interviews and record review, the facility failed to provide supervision to prevent falls and prevent a resident altercation which resulted in a fall, injury, hospitalization and death.” (page 8/28)

From the report, it also appears that this was not the woman’s first altercation.

The woman was a resident of the Alzheimer’s unit in the nursing facility, and she additionally suffered from dementia. The woman’s relatives claim that their motivation for filing suit was at least partly attributable to feeling as though the nursing care facility expressed no remorse or compassion following the incident.

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