Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The family of Lola Norton, deceased  brought a wrongful death action against a number of defendants who were affiliated with a nursing home in which Bernard Norton’s wife, Lola  died.

Bernard and family claimed that negligent treatment caused Lola’s death. The the nursing home defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint or, in the alternative, to stay the proceedings and compel arbitration of all claims in accordance with an agreement entered into by Lola at the time she was admitted to the nursing home.

The trial court granted the motion to stay and compel arbitration, and Bernard appealed, contending that, as a wrongful death beneficiary, he could not be bound to Lola’s arbitration agreement. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and found that Lola’s beneficiaries were not required to arbitrate their wrongful death claims against the nursing home defendants.

A federal jury in North Carolina entered its verdict in favor of the families of three nursing home residents who died at Blue Ridge Health Care Center.  The lawsuit filed for the wrongful deaths claimed these deaths were caused by the callous neglect of these and other nursing residents.

The jury awarded both compensatory and punitive damages in the case. The suit alleged that the nursing home’s medical staff chose not to properly monitor the patients, allowing them to remove their own breathing tubes without proper safeguards in place. The families alleged in these wrongful death lawsuits that the patients all required ventilator or tracheotomy tubes, which the residents were able to  remove on their own.  There was claimed to be little or no medical staff intervention to prevent residents from removing their ventilators or tracheotomy tubes.

The jury entered the verdict in favor of the families of the nursing residents — Baird, Jones and Kee — compensatory damages of $50,000, $300,000 and $300,000, respectively, and punitive damages to each family in the amount of about $1.5 million.

Continue reading