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Medication left out, mentally ill nursing home resident overdoses

Nursing homes have a lot of responsibilities. These institutions must make sure residents get proper medication, adequate nutrition and appropriate supervision. Any lapse in these duties can lead to serious injuries or death. Such nursing home neglect is tragic, especially because it is completely preventable. A recent incident at a nursing home should leave Miami residents unsettled.

A jury recently awarded a family $700,000 for a nursing home resident's death. The victim, a mentally ill patient, overdosed on morphine. Though it is unclear how the resident obtained the medication, the surviving family's attorney successfully claimed the medication could have only come from the nursing home. Additionally, witnesses testified that pain medication was often left on the counter at nurses' stations. The jury found this negligence on the part of nursing home employees to have caused the deceased's death.

While this case represents one example of nursing home neglect, several injuries can be a sign of neglect. Bedsores, a nursing home fall, rapid weight loss, and unexplained nursing home bruising can all be signs of negligent monitoring or elder abuse. When these terrible events happen, a victim can sue the nursing home in hopes of recovering compensation.

If a plaintiff wins a nursing home neglect case, then the winnings may be used to cover medical expenses and pain and suffering. Then, the victim can focus on recovering and be comfortable while going through a trying time. In the tragic even of death, like in the case mentioned above, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Though nursing homes have a lot of responsibilities, there is no excuse for preventable mistakes, especially ones that leave others injured. Filing a lawsuit against a negligent institution ensures these homes maintain proper safety regulations and employ only the best employees. These practices benefit all and should be sought after, even if that means filing a lawsuit.

Source: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Jury awards $700k in man's overdose at St. Louis County nursing home," Blythe Bernhard, Apr. 24, 2013

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