Nursing Home Neglect
I read recently in a prominent newspaper of a case filed against a nursing home chain for damage caused to a loved one due to neglect. The suit alleged the nursing home and chain were deliberately understaffing their facilities to save money and increase profits. This sort of conduct directly violates the terrific Florida Nursing Home statute (chapter 400) that was passed to protect our elderly citizens who are often fragile, vulnerable, and helpless. This is also most likely a case of Medicare or Medicaid fraud. Either way it’s wrong and horrible. Make sure you do your best diligence in choosing a nursing home for a loved one in their waning years.
Freidin Brown, P.A. has handled, very successfully, many such cases. Some of the types of mistreatment we have seen and made substantial financial recoveries for are: pressure ulcers (bedsores), malnourishment (starving to death), dehydration (dying of thirst), falls from bed or in the bathroom, often causing severe fractures that begin a spiral downward, even allowing patients with mental issues to wander off premises resulting in being hit by cars or drowning in nearby canals.
Often, punitive damages are part of the settlement in cases of nursing home abuse or neglect. This means that on top of any compensation for physical or emotional damages, the nursing home or party at fault could be responsible for additional compensation as punishment for the neglect or abuse of an elderly patient. It’s often overlooked that mistreating or neglecting elderly people -especially in the name of corporate greed- is no less reprehensible than child abuse. Nursing home residents are protected under Florida law with strong codes of conduct that are expected to be upheld. Attorney’s fees for negligence cases are also awardable.
Thinking about all this you can pretty well imagine how understaffing (for any reason) can lead to lack of proper supervision. Most loving relatives are anxious to believe the claims of nursing facilities that they are safe and careful. The relatives are not gullible, they are just not fully informed of the risks of a bad nursing home.
And one more thing: it’s an established fact that nursing home residents who are visited frequently fare far better than those who aren’t.