When we send our loved ones to nursing homes, we expect them to be taken care of by properly licensed, professionally trained, and caring staff members. After all, many of our elders and loved ones have complex health needs that require regular attention and care that nursing home staff members are specifically trained and equipped to address. When these facilities fail to conduct reasonable diligence into ensuring the quality of their staff, however, this lack of care can potentially result in injury to our loved ones.
According to a recent news report, a recent government investigation into issues surrounding nursing homes uncovered a registered nurse working while her license was suspended. The woman was arraigned recently on felony charges after the investigation found that she tampered with vials and syringes containing substances she knew were intended for patients who required pain relief in the critical care unit. She removed the original substances from the vials and syringes, replaced them with another liquid, and returned the containers. The incident remains under investigation, but officials noted that the woman had a previous criminal history while working as a nurse as well.
Unfortunately, Maryland is no stranger to similar incidents, especially in nursing homes. Long-term care facilities have a responsibility both to their residents and to the community to exercise reasonable diligence when hiring professional staff to care for vulnerable and elderly residents. When a facility fails to do so, its lack of care could constitute negligence. When the nursing home fails to protect its residents as the first line of defense when hiring staff, it could be held responsible for any subsequent injury that takes place.
In Maryland, personal injury lawsuits can also extend to these situations and provide relief for potential plaintiffs. Although a criminal charge against a staff member who was improperly practicing medicine with a suspended license will not guarantee compensation or damages for the injured party, a personal injury claim against the nursing facility as the staff member’s employer and against the staff member individually could yield some compensatory relief.
Potential plaintiffs in these cases could likely bring claims relying both on negligence or medical malpractice, depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if a nursing facility failed to adequately screen a staff member with a background check to ensure that they were properly licensed and this resulted in injury to residents, potential plaintiffs could sue for negligence. Alternatively, if the staff member failed to meet an accepted standard of care when treating a resident and it caused a preventable injury, potential plaintiffs could also sue for medical malpractice.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Claims Against Maryland Nursing Homes?
In Maryland, the statue of limitations is typically three years from the date of occurrence, meaning when the nursing home’s actions harmed the resident. However, there are exceptions to the general statute of limitations which may give residents or their family members additional time to file a claim. If you have a loved one who suffered preventable injury at a nursing home, speaking to a Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect attorney is a good first step to learning about your rights.
Do You Need a Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
If you or someone you love has recently experienced abuse or neglect at the hands of a Maryland nursing home or long-term care facility, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have years of experience fighting for the injured and will provide you and your loved ones with the support, advocacy, and knowledge of the law that you need to proceed with your legal claim. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 800-654-1949.