The decision to place a family member in a nursing home is usually not an easy one. Everyone wants their elderly loved ones to be comfortable and receive the best possible care. As a result, it can be particularly devastating when a loved one suffers from abuse at the hands of nursing home staff. After such an egregious wrong, nursing homes should not escape responsibility for their actions—or their failure to act.
According to a recent news article, a woman in Rochester, NY has alleged that a nursing home staff member attacked her 87-year-old mother. The victim’s family members received a call from the nursing home informing them that she fell out of bed. However, after speaking to the victim, her family members learned that her injuries were no accident. Instead, the victim’s daughter claims that a staffer dragged the victim out of bed and threw her to the ground. He then allegedly tried to assault her. Following the attack, the victim required hospitalization for a broken rib, a fractured arm, and several bruises. The family has filed a complaint of elder abuse with the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
What Steps Can You Take After Nursing Home Neglect?
Maryland provides several avenues for victims of nursing home abuse or neglect to seek legal redress. First, a victim’s family can file a formal complaint with the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality. Families can file a complaint by calling the Office, sending an email, or using the Office’s online form. If the initial investigator finds a potential violation of Maryland law, he or she may forward the complaint to a health occupations investigator to gather more evidence and report any additional findings to the Office for review.
Apart from initiating a complaint with the state government, a victim’s family can file a lawsuit against the nursing home. If the lawsuit is based on a staff member’s abuse, the family may sue the nursing home on a theory of vicarious liability. This is a legal claim that holds a business or other organization responsible for an employee’s conduct. To prevail on a vicarious liability claim, a plaintiff must show the employee acted within the scope of his or her employment with the defendant employer. Typically, the law considers employees to be acting within the scope of employment if they perform some act during their normal working hours to further the employer’s business. When employees commit illegal acts during the course of their workday—such as assaulting a nursing home resident—proving they acted to further the employer’s business can involve complex legal questions. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney can help gather evidence and develop the best strategies to hold nursing homes accountable for enabling abuse and neglect on their premises.
Do You Need a Maryland Nursing Home Neglect Attorney?
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at a Maryland nursing home or long-term care facility, contact Lebowitz & Mzhen today for help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys provide compassionate representation to nursing home residents and their families. We work to hold nursing homes accountable for their actions and secure the compensation that injured victims need and deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation with our team, contact our office at 800-654-1949.