Many tasks carried out at nursing homes are routine and can be performed without much thought. Nursing home employees should, however, be attentive at all times and ensure their work is carried out appropriately. Any lapse in their duty of care to their residents can lead to serious injury or death. As a recently decided nursing home neglect lawsuit shows, mistakes made carrying out seemingly minor tasks can be devastating.
After breaking both of her ankles, an elderly woman was admitted to a nursing home for recovery and rehabilitation. At the time of admittance, the resident had a catheter and no urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, within days the woman developed a urinary tract infection. The nursing home's employees then gave the woman pain medication in excess of what the doctor ordered. The two issues combined ultimately led to the woman's death.
Nursing home employees should be well versed in giving appropriate medication and properly attending to catheters. Yet, in this case the jury found the nursing home breached its duty of care to the patient which led to her death. When these elements can be established in a nursing home neglect lawsuit, compensation may be obtained.
Once money is awarded to the victim of nursing home neglect, whether for bedsores, a nursing home fall or improper medication, she can use it to pay off medical expenses and ease any pain and suffering. If, as in the case mentioned above, the resident dies, then the victim's family can seek monetary damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
In addition to aiding victims obtain much needed and well deserved compensation, a nursing home neglect lawsuit punishes those who have wronged the most vulnerable. These institutions are trusted with the community's loved ones, and anything short of perfection is intolerable. Punishing errant institutions ensures those who go there in the future will be taken care of in a safer environment.
Source: Pueblo Chieftain, "Neglect suit against nursing home nets $3.7M," Nick Bonham, May 6, 2013