Nursing Home Residents Bring Class Action for Preventable Hepatitis C Outbreak

Two nursing home residents in North Dakota are alleging that the nursing home they resided in provided negligent care resulting in a Hepatitis C outbreak. According to a report by McKnight’s Long-Term Care and Assisted Living, forty-four residents in a 114-bed facility contracted the incurable disease. The residents filed the suit in a federal court in North Dakota earlier this month.

They allege that the nursing home’s negligent care, specifically foot and nail care, or blood work may have caused the outbreak. The plaintiffs are seeking certification as a class to continue as a class action and have claimed unspecified monetary damages. An attorney for the residents claims that even the most basic level of care could have prevented the outbreak.

The nursing home claims that the lawsuit is premature, as the cause of the outbreak is still officially undetermined. In a recent statement the nursing home claims to be “cooperative and proactive” about ensuring all protocol is followed in the wake of the outbreak. While that is true, the North Dakota Department of Health is conducting in thorough investigation into the cause of the serious outbreak.

The outbreak accounted for a substantial amount of all Hepatitis C cases since 2008; roughly 25%. The disease, which is most common among intravenous drug users, is transmittable by blood. Once contracted, the disease cannot be cured, although it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. In some cases the disease can be fatal. However, non of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit have lost their lives as a result of their infection.

Negligent Nursing Home Care in Maryland

In Maryland, nursing homes are bound by the same federal laws applicable in the case described above. All nursing homes are required by law to provide adequate care to their residents, no matter what level of health they are in when they enter the facility. When patients are injured in any way due to the negligence of a nursing home, those patients are entitled to recover in a court of law.

While the facts of each case are different, generally speaking it is easy to spot nursing home negligence while living at the facility, but harder when it is your loved one there and not you. For this reason, it is advised to take all resident complaints seriously and investigate the claims before dismissing them, in many cases they have merit.

Has Your Loved One Been Hurt in a Maryland Nursing Home?

If your loved one has been injured by the negligence of nursing home or assisted living staff, you should speak to a Maryland nursing home attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the facts of your case, you or your loved one may be entitled to recover monetary damages based on the nursing home’s negligence. To find out more about the negligence laws in Maryland, and to schedule your free initial consultation, click here or call 410-654-3600 today.

See More Blog Posts:

Nursing Home Employee Facing Assault Charges for the Abuse of a Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published April 2, 2014.

Nursing Home Fire Sends Two to the Hospital, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 25, 2014.

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