As the population ages, and life expectancy continues to increase, nursing homes are becoming a part of more and more Americans’ lives. As a result, Maryland nursing homes are caring for more residents than ever. Family members who place their loved one in a nursing home want to ensure that they are safe and being taken care of, but sometimes finances or other concerns force families to place loved ones in subpar institutions. Unfortunately, loved ones can suffer from nursing home abuse that often goes unreported. A common yet overlooked form of this abuse is food safety violations, which occur frequently in Maryland nursing homes and can cause serious illness, or even death.
A recent investigative report found that there are thousands of food safety violations in nursing homes across the country each year. According to a news article discussing the report’s findings, cockroaches, flies, mold, and mouse droppings are just a few of the unsanitary conditions found in nursing homes over the last three years. In fact, unsafe food handling was the third most frequent violation in nursing homes in 2018. That same year, 33% of nursing homes were issued citations for not safely storing, preparing, and serving food. And many of these instances are not just one-time mistakes: since 2016, approximately 33% of all nursing homes were cited multiple times for the same food safety violations.
These safety violations, while concerning in any kitchen, are of utmost concern in nursing homes because people over 65 are especially susceptible to foodborne illnesses. Unlike restaurants where a patron can get up and leave, nursing home residents often have no choice but to stay and eat in their institution. The result can be deadly: the report also found that, between 1998 and 2017, there were 230 foodborne illness outbreaks in long-term care settings such as nursing homes, which resulted in at least 45 deaths, 532 hospitalizations, and 7,648 people getting ill.
The citations given to nursing homes who violate food safety standards are often small fines and do nothing to help the victims or their families deal with the aftermath of an illness. Maryland law, however, allows victims and their families to bring a negligence suit against their nursing home if they suffer from foodborne illness. In the tragic event that a loved one dies due to an illness, Maryland families can also bring a wrongful death claim.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Injuries in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If your loved one has recently gotten ill or suffered a premature death in a Maryland nursing home, due to food safety violations or other nursing home neglect or abuse, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Contact the experienced Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers. Our dedicated and compassionate attorneys have decades of experiencing representing clients and have gotten countless clients compensation for past and future medical bills, surgeries, as well as for their pain and suffering. Call 800-654-1949 today, or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can recover on your behalf.