A recently published local news article discusses allegations of abuse that have resulted in state authorities preventing a privately owned nursing facility from admitting new residents until the allegations are properly investigated and any necessary remedial action is taken. Although the report notes that state prosecutors appear unlikely to pursue criminal charges against the parties responsible for the alleged abuse, victims of the abuse or neglect may still have claims for financial damages by filing a civil nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect lawsuit with the help of experienced legal counsel.
According to the report, the state regulatory authority was the first to receive notice that there was possible abuse or neglect occurring at the Brookhaven Manor nursing home in Kingsport, Tennessee. Authorities suspended the nursing home from taking new residents after an initial investigation found credible evidence corroborating the claims of abuse and neglect.
While these reports of abuse and neglect detail conduct that would certainly be criminal under state law, the prosecuting attorney’s office expressed doubt that any charges would be pursued. The attorney noted frustration with the fact that his office was not notified of any of the allegations or allowed to perform any investigation until after the state administratively sanctioned the home. This compromised the investigation by giving allegedly culpable parties an opportunity to tamper with evidence of wrongdoing.
Law Enforcement Can Offer Limited Help to Victims of Nursing Home Abuse
Criminal acts of nursing home abuse and neglect are common nationwide, but charges seeking to hold the responsible parties criminally accountable for the harm that was done are rarely pursued. One reason charges may be difficult to successfully pursue comes from the inherently poor quality of communications between residents and nursing home staff, as well as the lack of a consistent chain of oversight to ensure allegations make their way to the appropriate parties.
A breakdown of communication at any point between the reporting of abuse to nursing home staff and the notification of state and federal law enforcement authorities (and ultimately prosecutors) can prevent charges from being successful.
When Criminal Charges Are Not Possible, Civil Relief May Be an Option
Although criminal charges are not always an option for victims of nursing home abuse or neglect, civil claims for relief may remain an option. These claims are often more successful at holding responsible parties accountable for nursing home abuse. Whether there are allegations of an intentional assault, sexual abuse, hygienic neglect, or violations of residents’ privacy, a nursing home abuse lawsuit could help residents and their loved ones get to the bottom of abuse allegations and pursue justice for those hurt by these acts.
Is Your Loved One at Risk?
If you or a loved one has suffered from acts or omissions that may constitute nursing home abuse or neglect, financial compensation may be appropriate. Contacting a Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. nursing home abuse attorney may be the first step toward obtaining relief. The qualified Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers offer representation and counsel to victims of nursing home abuse. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we represent clients in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area in all types of nursing home abuse and malpractice cases. Contact us by calling toll-free at 1-800-654-1949 or using our online form to schedule a no-obligation consultation to discuss your case today.
More Blog Posts:
Appellate Court Reverses Lower Court’s Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Nursing Home Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 6, 2017.
State Passes Bill Providing Cameras in Nursing Home Facilities in Hopes of Decreasing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 21, 2016.