Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

Thelma Brown, 90, was suffering from dementia and required the use of a wheelchair. While a resident at Brookdale Charlestown Nursing Home, she suffered multiple falls and developed a urinary tract infection that led to sepsis and ultimately caused her death. She was survived by her adult daughter.

Brown’s daughter, on her behalf, sued the nursing home’s owner alleging that it chose not to properly monitor her mother’s well-being, provide sufficient staff in training, and modify her care plan when her health deteriorated.

The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that Brown’s injuries came from her poor medical condition and that her injuries were not a cause of her death.

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The plaintiff-respondent Melanie Arace, as personal representative and successor in interest for Grace R. Miller and Trustee of the Grace R. Miller Trust of May 8, 2002, filed a complaint against Medico Investments LLC, which is a residential care facility owner.

The Melanie Arace lawsuit alleged that Medico or its employee, Elizabeth Colon, engaged in multiple acts of elder abuse of Miller.

The jury signed a verdict in favor of Melanie Arace for Grace R. Miller, which included an award of damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

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A watchdog report released recently called for new focus on protecting nursing home patients. The report shows that nursing home facilities have regularly chosen not to report thousands of serious cases of potential neglect and abuse of seniors who receive their health care through Medicare even though it is a federal requirement for them to report.

Auditors with the U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector’s General Office drilled down on episodes that were serious enough that the patient was taken straight from the nursing home to a hospital emergency room.

The data that revealed this alarming reality was done by scouring Medicare billing records. It was estimated that in 2016, about 6,600 cases of potential neglect or abuse were not reported as required. Nearly 6,200 patients were affected.

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Minnie Pearson was admitted to Carrington Place of St. Charles after she suffered a stroke. She was in her mid-70s at the time. About a month after her admission, nursing aide Heather Clark administered hydralazine to Pearson although it was another patient’s medication. She then became unresponsive and hypotensive.

The nursing home staff responded by attempting resuscitation and later called 911. However, Pearson died several months later. She was survived by four adult children.

The Pearson estate and family sued the nursing home, Heather Clark and her employer, Accountable Healthcare Staffing, alleging negligent administration of the hydralazine and choosing not to timely summon emergency medical assistance.

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The names of the individuals in this nursing home lawsuit were made confidential. Mr. Roe, a nursing home resident with a history of criminal sexual violence, became friendly with a fellow resident, an 82-year-old woman, Ms. Doe, who suffered from dementia. The staff at the nursing home, Maple Farm Nursing Home, were concerned about Doe and Roe being together. The situation was discussed with the County Office of Aging, which agreed to keep Doe and Roe separated.

Nevertheless, the nursing home chose not to do so. Early one morning, Mr. Roe went to Ms. Doe’s room and sexually assaulted her. The police were summoned to the nursing home and Roe admitted to the assault.

Ms. Doe, through a representative, sued the nursing home, its parent company and Mr. Doe ,alleging liability for the sexual assault.

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Barbara Carroll, 75, was admitted to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation after a surgery.  Within a week, she developed a significant pressure sore on her coccyx, which progressed to Stage IV despite her use of an air mattress. She died of sepsis a month after her admission to the skilled nursing facility and was survived by her three adult children.

One of her daughters filed a claim against Oak Rehabilitation Centers claiming that the owner was liable for choosing not to provide Carroll with a functioning air mattress. Without that air mattress, it was alleged that her pressure ulcer worsened.

Before a lawsuit was filed, the parties settled for $340,000. Continue reading

Morley Sprague suffered from end-stage multiple sclerosis and had a history of urinary tract infection (UTI) and degenerative joint disease.

After a hospitalization for treatment of sepsis and a UTI, he was admitted to the North Canyon Care Center, a nursing home that offered wound care services. Within a week, his two existing pressure ulcers worsened from Stage I and II to Stage IV. Additionally, he developed a Stage IV pressure sore on his right buttock.

After he left the nursing home, he required antibiotic treatment and continued medical care for his open wounds, which did not heal. Two years after his discharge, Sprague died of sepsis resulting from an infected pressure ulcer.

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Potential clients often report attacks on nursing home residents by roommates or other residents at Illinois nursing homes. Nursing homes typically are home to the elderly, the infirm, the mentally challenged and many who are suffering dementia or other lapses in mental capacity.

In many cases, resident-on-resident violence occurs in Illinois nursing homes on a regular basis.  All too often, nursing home residents suffer serious injuries. Nursing home residents are usually fragile physically and emotionally; thus, a fall, a shove, a strike or a blow to the body may cause serious injuries of all sorts that could lead to untimely deaths.

When a nursing home resident applies for residency, there is an assessment that takes place unique to the applying individual. When screening a prospective nursing home resident, the nursing home administrators examine medical reports, consult with treating physicians and interview family members as well as the prospective resident. This due diligence is a way of identifying potentially violent tendencies of a nursing home resident.

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The aftermath of Hurricane Irma was responsible for knocking out the air-conditioning at a Florida nursing home. As of Sept. 13, 2017, eight patients at that facility had died related to the heat and humidity when temperatures were extremely high. In fact, the state said four of the deceased nursing home residents had body temperatures between 107 degrees Fahrenheit and 109 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration suspended the license of the rehabilitation center at Hollywood Hills, which was the nursing home residence for these nine individuals who have since died.

The nursing home official said they used coolers, fans, ice and other means to try to cool the patients, although these efforts were unsuccessful.

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In this case, the Kentucky Supreme Court’s clear-statement rule was held to violate the Federal Arbitration Act by singling out arbitration agreements for disfavored treatment.

The Federal Arbitration Act (the Act) makes arbitration agreements “valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract,” 9 U.S.C. ¶ 2, establishes an equal-treatment principle:  A court may invalidate an arbitration agreement based on “generally applicable contract defenses,” but not on legal rules that “apply only to arbitration or that derive their meaning from the fact that an agreement to arbitrate is at issue,” AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333, 339.

The Act thus preempts any state rule that discriminates on its face against arbitration or that covertly accomplishes the same objective by disfavoring contracts that have the defining features of arbitration agreements.

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