Establishing causation in a Maryland nursing home case can be difficult, particularly because residents are often sick when they enter the home. With residents that were already sick, it can be difficult to prove that the nursing home’s neglect or abuse caused the resident’s injuries or death or accelerated them. Additionally, residents also may be unable to testify because they lack competency or have already passed.
A plaintiff in a nursing home negligence case in Maryland must prove that the nursing home’s negligent act or failure to act was both a cause-in-fact of the resident’s injuries and a legally cognizable cause. Proving the cause-in-fact means showing that but-for the nursing home’s negligent conduct, the resident’s injuries would not have resulted. In cases where more than one factor may have caused the resident’s injuries or death, Maryland courts use the substantial factor test. Under this test, a court will consider whether the nursing home’s conduct was a substantial factor causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
Proving that the defendant’s conduct was a legally cognizable cause means demonstrating that the defendant’s conduct was sufficiently related to the injuries that the defendant should be held liable. Courts may consider whether the resulting injuries were a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s conduct and whether holding the defendant liable would be fair under the circumstances. A plaintiff must prove causation (and other elements of the claim) under the preponderance of the evidence standard, which requires showing that it is more probable than not that the defendant’s negligent act caused the plaintiff’s injuries. It is insufficient that it is a mere possibility that the defendant’s conduct caused the resident’s injuries.
V.A. Facility Sued After Resident Attacked by Fire Ants
A resident of a Veterans Affairs Facility recently sued the U.S. government for wrongful death after the man was bitten all over his body by fire ants at the facility. According to one news article, the man was 73 years old and had lung cancer, but the family alleges he died prematurely because of the ant attack. He was bitten over 100 times by fire ants shortly before he died. The family claims that the poison in the fire ant bites along with the shock “was just enough to put the poor man over the edge.” He was bedridden and largely immobile because of the cancer, and could not defend himself from the attack, according to the lawsuit. He was attacked on two occasions, a few days apart. His family was not notified after the first fire ant attack, and was only notified after the second attack. He died two days after the second attack. The Department of Veterans Affairs claims that the bites did not contribute to the man’s death.
Contact the Maryland Nursing Home Lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzehn
If you think that your loved one may have been abused or neglected at a Maryland nursing home, other residents are at risk. Do not waste any time consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you on the proper steps to take. Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, can guide you through the legal process and provide you with competent counseling along each step of the way. To speak with a lawyer at Lebowitz & Mzhen who can assess your situation, call toll-free to schedule a free consultation, at (800) 654-1949. You can also reach us through our online form.