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Cheyenne Personal Injury Law Blog

When appearances lead to nursing home negligence suspicions

Like most adult children of elderly nursing home residents in Wyoming, you probably keep your eyes and ears open whenever you visit your loved one. It's only natural you want to make sure your family member is being properly cared for and kept safe, especially since you can't be there every day. If you begin to notice some troubling issues and suspect nursing home negligence, there is no time like the present to take action to protect your loved one.  

The law provides specific means to protect the rights of abused or neglected nursing home patients. There should be zero tolerance for substandard care that places vulnerable people in harm's way. If you have reason to believe your loved one has been neglected or abused, the more evidence you can gather and documentation you compile to substantiate your claim, the better.  

Post-hurricane nursing home negligence case still in litigation

Hurricane Irma was devastating. Many people in the Wyoming had loved ones along the southeastern coast of the nation who were victims of the Category 5 storm system. Twelve deaths occurred at a nursing home facility. The tragedy led to litigation, as reported previously on this blog ("Nursing home negligence or consequences of natural disaster," Feb. 1, 2018). The testimony from those proceedings was recently published.

The nursing facility, like many other buildings in the area, lost power during the storm. At issue in the litigation is whether management was negligent in its duty to keep residents as safe as possible during the crisis. As it stands, portable cooling units used to help compensate from the loss of power in the hot weather only put out 15 tons of cooling capacity as opposed to 125 tons necessary to sufficiently cool the building.

When nursing home negligence results in patient abuse

No Wyoming family wants to think their loved ones may be at risk in the nursing homes where they reside. Many families spend months researching options before choosing a particular nursing facility for an aging family member. Most residences are staffed by properly trained, attentive workers who do their best to provide quality care for their patients; however, nursing home negligence remains a serious problem in some areas.

A man in another state grew quite concerned when he noticed unexplained bruises on his father's body. To further investigate the situation, he installed a camera designed to look like an alarm clock, in his father's room. He later said that he was shocked and dismayed when he reviewed the films the surveillance camera captured.

What's a family to do when nursing home negligence causes injury?

There are many good nursing facilities in Wyoming and throughout the nation. Most are staffed with skilled and dedicated workers who do their best to adhere to state regulations and high standards of care for their residents. There is also a darker side in many such environments, however, where nursing home negligence causes personal injury and family devastation.

Even one injury caused by substandard nursing care is one too many. Many people whose loved ones suffered from negligent care feel helpless and angry that they were not able to prevent their loved ones' injuries. One thing that can be done after the fact is that an eligible party can file a negligence claim against any and all staff members or officials deemed responsible for their family member's suffering.

Lack of transparency may enable nursing home negligence

Many Wyoming families are currently facing serious problems regarding substandard care of elderly patients in nursing homes. Some have already suffered devastating losses when loved ones succumbed to injuries suffered due to acts of abuse. Others suspect nursing home negligence but aren't sure where to turn for support to rectify their situations.

A representative in another state has been speaking about lack of transparency. In fact, he believes that the reporting process for adverse incidents in nursing homes is so secretive that it actually enables negligence and abuse to continue. Surprisingly, local law enforcement agencies may not even be aware of crimes that take place because information from nursing home abuse reports is not typically made available to them.

Nursing home negligence or consequences of natural disaster?

Many Wyoming residents closely followed headline news regarding Hurricane Irma. Irma hit the southeast coast of the United States not long after a similar storm raged through the southwest. During Irma, 12 patients died in an assisted living facility, and prosecutors say nursing home negligence was the cause.

In their opening arguments at a licensing hearing, plaintiff attorneys adamantly stated that the nursing home where the patients died should be shut down. In the midst of chaos caused by the hurricane, the facility's air conditioning system stopped working. Three patients were later found deceased in their beds while nine others later died of complications due to extreme heat exposure.

Woman seeks millions in damages for nursing home negligence

Many Wyoming residents currently live in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities. Most have special needs or health conditions that require continual attention and care from staff members. Sadly, nursing home negligence has led to severe injuries, even death, in situations where nurses or other care providers failed to fulfill their responsibilities.

In another state, a lawsuit has been filed in the aftermath of an elderly man's death. The woman acting on behalf of his estate is seeking more than $2 million, claiming the man's death was preventable. The woman says the man's care providers were negligent, which she believes caused the injury that ultimately led to his death.

Nursing home negligence grounds for criminal and civil litigation

In Wyoming and beyond, many elderly people are at risk for injury when residing in assisted living facilities. Whether such injury occurs due to falls, medication errors or outright abuse, those afflicted are protected by law with the right to pursue justice in civil court. This type of litigation may take place apart from any criminal charges that might be filed following a particular incident. Nursing home negligence is a major problem in many permanent residence facilities and support networks exist to help concerned families address such matters.

When a decision is made to move an aging parent into a full-time nursing facility, it can be a highly emotional experience for all involved. Many people who enter nursing homes to live do so because they have pre-existing medical or mental conditions that inhibit their ability to care for themselves on a daily basis. Most families typically apply extensive research to the process of choosing a nursing home for a loved one.

Several convicted for nursing home negligence re patient injuries

A licensed practical nurse and two nursing assistants were supposed to be taking care of an elderly nursing home patient in another state. However, substandard care resulted in the 84-year-old woman's injury. This led to the three workers in question being charged with and convicted of nursing home negligence. Wyoming readers with loved ones in nursing homes may want pay close attention to review this case.

In 2016, the patient was confined to her bed for an entire night and part of the following day. Officials reported that the three workers claimed they had signed off on documentation saying they had gone in and out of the room to check the patient several times throughout the night. Surveillance film of the room told a entirely different story, however.

Nursing home negligence: Fatal medication errors a problem

Not every negligence situation in a Wyoming nursing home has to do with physical abuse. Nursing home negligence comes in many shapes and sizes, so to speak, with one recurring problem in many states having to do with medication errors. In fact, a woman in another state died after a nurse reportedly gave her an overdose of heavy narcotics.

The 65-year-old nursing home resident was known for her love of crossword puzzles. Those who knew her quipped that she always made sure to do her puzzles in ink. She spent the final days of her life enjoying her favorite pastime, then suffered an untimely, quite unexpected death.

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