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.
After the woman’s family found this out, they filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. It came out at trial that it was standard procedure for the nursing home employees to use the intercom to announce “Simon line 9” whenever an inspector was in the building. When this code word was announced, employees knew to run towards the nearest cart, in order to make it seem as though it was their normal procedure to have two employees working with each cart.
After the plaintiffs won at trial, the defendant nursing home appealed the verdict. Before the appeal could be heard, however, the parties reached a settlement where the nursing home would pay the family approximately $800,000 for their loss.
Nursing Home Negligence Suits
Each year, we see numerous lawsuits stemming from the negligent treatment of nursing home residents. Although nursing home patients are an at-risk population, they are often mistreated by those who are charged to care for them.
In many cases, these instances go unreported, making it difficult to get a grasp on exactly how prevalent nursing-home negligence and nursing-home abuse really are. Even when abuse or neglect is reported, often family members do not take the reports seriously.
Establishing Liability in Nursing Home Suits
In order for a patient, or a patient’s family members, to recover in a nursing home negligence or abuse suit, the plaintiff must establish that the nursing home violated some duty of care that it owed to the patient. For more information on how to prove a case against a nursing home, contact a dedicated Maryland nursing home attorney today.
Is Your Loved One at Risk?
If you believe that your loved one is at risk of nursing home negligence or nursing home abuse, you should secure your loved one’s safety immediately. After you are certain that he or she is out of the abusive environment, contact one of the dedicated attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers to go over your case. The skilled attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have years of experience recovering for clients who have been victimized by nursing homes. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney.
See More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Fire in Maine Forces Evacuation of 22 Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 8, 2014.
Nurse Arrested for the Abuse of a 92-Year-Old Nursing Home Patient, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 5, 2014.