Earlier this month, the family of a 57-year-old woman who died after lighting herself aflame filed suit against the nursing facility that was charged with her care. According to one local news article, the lawsuit is against the single largest owner of skilled nursing facilities in the State of California. The owner of the facility controls one in every 14 nursing home beds in California.
Evidently, the woman suffered from a history of schizophrenia and suicidal ideations, and she was admitted to the nursing home for constant care. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing facility accepted her into its care, knowing that it did not have the trained staff necessary to provide the high level of care that the woman needed. Specifically, the woman’s family claims that the home was “maximizing profits from the operation of the facility by underfunding, understaffing and under training the staff” with “callous indifference to the potential for injury they were inflicting upon the resident population.”
The family argues that the home provided the woman a “day pass” that allowed her to be on her own for about four hours a day without supervision of any kind. This was despite the fact that, just two weeks earlier, staff members reported the woman was suffering from hallucinations and talking to herself.
The California Department of Public Health fined the nursing facility $20,000 after the woman’s death for the home’s negligence in handling the situation. After the Department conducted an investigation, it was discovered that seven out of 18 residents with serious mental illness were given passes to be away up to four hours a day without any level of supervision.
Negligence in Maryland Nursing Homes
When the term “nursing home negligence” is brought up, often pictures of elderly patients being left alone without being fed or cared for come to mind. However, nursing home negligence is a much broader category of negligent conduct, including situations like the one discussed above. In this situation, there are no allegations of complete neglect, but instead the allegations are of poor top-level decision-making that resulted in harm to the residents. Both types of negligence are actionable in a court of law.
Recovering in a Nursing Home Negligence Case
Whether the alleged negligence is based on the conduct of a single employee or on the organization as a whole, the end result may be the same. The nursing home can be held financially liable for the injuries or losses sustained.
Nursing homes are required to be upfront with the level of care they are capable of providing, and they may not misrepresent the type of facility, the quality of care provided, or the amount of attention each resident will receive. If you believe that your loved one was subject to nursing home neglect, contact a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney today.
Has Your Loved One Suffered in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one whom you believe was the victim of nursing home neglect, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, nursing homes and their staff are most often represented by dedicated defense counsel, who are trained to argue against a finding of neglect. Therefore, it is advised that you too seek out counsel of your own to help you in the preparation of your case. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with a dedicated attorney who can explain to you all you need to know about nursing home negligence under Maryland law. Call today to set up your free consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
Kentucky Nursing Home Required to Pay $18 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 27, 2015.
Video Camera Installed By Loved Ones Catches Abusive Nurses in Action, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 13, 2015.