Family files wrongful death lawsuit against nursing home

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Mar 16, 2012 in Nursing Home Injury or Death

When family members place a loved one in a nursing home, the last thing they expect is that their loved one will suffer a physical attack. Unfortunately for one family, that is exactly what happened and they are now suing the nursing home for wrongful death '>negligence and wrongful death .

The 80-year-old nursing home resident was attacked by a 66-year-old resident who had a history of violent criminal behavior. During the physical altercation, the 8o-year-old, who suffered from Alzheimer's, sustained serious head injuries that resulted in his death two days later. The death has been ruled a homicide and is currently under investigation. No charges have been filed.

In their lawsuit, the family of the deceased believes the nursing home failed to protect their loved one from a resident who they knew had aggressive and violent tendencies including past felony convictions. They also contend the nursing home failed to hire an adequate number of staff to supervise residents and ensure their safety.

In this case, it's obvious that this tragedy could have been prevented had sufficient nursing staff been present to intervene. Unfortunately, many nursing homes around the country and in West Virginia do not provide adequate resident to staff ratios. Short staffing can lead to an increase in injuries including falls and bed or pressure sores as well as more extreme physical altercations such as in this case.

Ensuring the overall safety and wellbeing of your loved one is paramount. Families must remain vigilant and hyper-aware of the conditions in which their loved ones are living. When visiting the nursing facility, take note, does there appear to be an adequate amount of staff on hand. If not, it may be wise to speak with a supervisor and request information related to staffing to resident ratios.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Lawsuit: Nursing home failed to protect patient from resident with 'violent criminal record'," Bridget Doyle, Mar. 8, 2012

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