Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, or vicarious liability, an employer is generally responsible for the acts of its employees if they are acting in the scope of their employment. Therefore, if a Maryland nursing home staff member abuses a nursing home resident, the nursing home may be responsible for the employee’s actions as long as the staff member was acting within the scope of their employment.
A hidden camera recently led to the arrest of two Georgia women on elder abuse charges, according to one news source. An 89-year-old resident was living at a nursing home in Georgia when his family installed a “nanny cam” in his room to monitor his well-being because they were concerned about him. According to the news report, the video showed staff physically and mentally abusing the resident.
The resident was recovering from pneumonia and needed extra help with feeding and personal hygiene. According to police, two staff members in the room were frustrated with him and “were treating him pretty roughly.” The sheriff said that at one point, the resident was having a hard time keeping his dentures in while he was eating, and one of the staff members hit him to get the dentures back in. The staff also hit him in the face after he spit some food out of his mouth, cussed at him, and threatened to hit him. One of the staff members, who was 37 years old, was arrested on four counts of elder abuse, and the other staff member, who was 45 years old, was charged with one count of elder abuse.
Proving Abuse in Nursing Homes
All nursing home residents have the right to live in a safe environment, free from mistreatment. This means that if a nursing home and its staff fail to exercise reasonable care to keep residents safe and free from abuse, the nursing home may be liable.
Abuse can be hard to prove in many cases, especially if the resident is unable to communicate clearly. But more families are taking matters into their own hands by installing video cameras, leading to lawsuits against nursing homes in some cases. In other cases, other types of evidence can support a nursing home abuse claim. For example, evidence that may support a claim could include resident records that reference the incident, employee schedules, training manuals, a failure to maintain records, residents’ statements, and photographs.
Has Your Loved One Been a Victim of Abuse at a Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one has suffered abuse at a Maryland nursing home or from a caretaker, you may have grounds to pursue a claim for compensation. The trial attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of experience representing victims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our attorneys approach each case with empathy and professionalism, and we can provide your loved one and you with the attention you deserve. Contact us at 800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600, or through our online form, to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes Remains Problem, Putting Some Residents in Grave Danger, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 21, 2018.
Resident-on-Resident Abuse Is Prevalent in Maryland Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 7, 2018.