Earlier this month in California, the family of a woman who died while in the care of a skilled nursing facility filed suit against the facility, claiming that the negligent care their loved one received while at the facility led to her early death. According to one local news source, the lawsuit alleges that the nursing home did not meet the state-mandated requirement for staff member-to-patient ratio, which was a major cause of the inadequate care.
Evidently, the elderly woman had lived at the facility for the three years prior to her death. About a month before her death, the woman suffered a serious fall and broke her hip. Her family was not notified, and she was not taken to the hospital until the next day. The woman remained hospitalized afterwards and died about a month later.
The woman’s family claims that the facility failed to create a proper care plan for their loved one, whom the nursing home staff knew suffered from seizures. They also claimed that the nursing home did not properly train staff, failed to monitor high-risk patients, and failed to report any discovered violations to the state.
Understaffing Problems in Nursing Homes
As the article mentioned above notes, labor is the largest cost for nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. Some nursing homes looking to pad the bottom line will look to staffing costs when deciding where to make cuts. This can result in a situation like the one above, in which, even when the nurses on duty are well-intentioned, they cannot practically provide the necessary level of care to each of their many patients.
Liability in Nursing Home Cases
In many neglect and abuse cases, a nurse is involved in a neglectful or an abusive act and is named in the lawsuit along with the nursing home. However, a nurse does not need to be shown to have acted in an abusive or especially neglectful manner in order for a plaintiff to recover for the early loss of their loved one. In some cases, nursing home staff levels are so low that nurses cannot care for all the individuals they are charged with caring for, despite their best efforts. In these cases, the nursing home management can be held liable for the injuries caused by their hiring, training, and staffing decisions.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you believe that your loved one passed too early while in the care of a Maryland nursing home or skilled nursing facility, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Of course, you should expect that the nursing home named as a defendant will seek out their own attorney to help them defend against the claims, and so should you. Skilled defense counsel may rush a plaintiff into settling for an inadequate amount, knowing that the case could be worth much more at trial. Don’t be taken advantage of. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Nurse Faces Criminal Charges for Abuse of Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 28, 2015.
Group of Nursing Homes Told They Cannot Force Arbitration by State Supreme Court, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 7, 2015.