Recently in Nursing Home Abuse Category

Minnesota Nursing Home may Escape Liability for Alleged Nursing Home Abuse

March 22, 2012

It is always unfortunate when reports arise of abuse occurring in our nations nursing homes and other assisted living facilities meant to make the lives of our elders more peaceful. Many are disturbed by elder abuse or nursing home abuse because it involves elderly individuals, who are particularly vulnerable, being taken advantage of, either medically, physically, financially, or emotionally. When individuals and facilities that are responsible for this type of abuse are held responsible, it is refreshing. However, unfortunately, one Minnesota nursing may escape liability for the abusive actions of employee against an elderly female patient.

As reported by the Star Tribune, a female resident of a St. Paul, Minnesota nursing home was sexually assaulted repeatedly over a period of months by a staff member, according to a state investigative report released Tuesday March 20, 2012. The abuse, which not only included physical abuse, but included sexual abuse, such as forced sexual acts and fondling, as well, occurred at Highland Chateau Health Care Center in St. Paul. The Health Department report did not give the age of the resident or the employee. Fortunately for the resident involved, as well as all of the other residents of Highland Chateau, the employee was fired. The administrator of the nursing home has yet to comment on the incident to the press.

According to the Star Tribune, St. Paul police tried to question him, but the phone numbers he provided weren't working. Officials with St. Paul police were checking Tuesday afternoon to see where the investigation stands. A spokesman for the Ramsey County attorney's office said the Health Department forwarded a case for consideration of charges but prosecutors have yet to make a determination.

According to the Health Department's report, which did not reveal the identities of the staff member or the resident, the abused resident had limited mobility and needed help dressing, bathing and with her bathroom needs. The report also revealed that when confronted by a state investigator, the staff member responsible for the abuse denied the allegations, saying that the woman would at times not make sense and was under the impression he would marry her. However, other staff members described the woman as "alert and oriented." One said the woman told her "she just wanted it over," the report said.

Continue reading "Minnesota Nursing Home may Escape Liability for Alleged Nursing Home Abuse" »

New Tennessee Law may lead to Greater Suffering for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and their Families

September 30, 2011

As an increasing portion of the United States' population reaches its golden years, it would seem that more safeguards would be put in place to advance and protect the interests of aging Americans. However this seems not to be the case, especially in the state of Tennessee. Earlier this year, Tennessee lawmakers passed new legislation that limits the non-economic damages that a victim of nursing home abuse or nursing home malpractice may recover. This legislation comes only two year after the Tennessee legislation passed measures that greatly reduced the oversight and regulation of nursing homes in the state. Needless to say, victims of nursing home abuse, and their families, are outraged.

Dennis Matthews, whose mother, Verdie Matthews, died from dehydration and malnutrition at a nursing home owned by Life Care Centers of America, sued the Tennessee based company. At trial, the jury found the nursing home negligent, and awarded Matthews 11.5 million dollars. However, after the trial, the judge overruled the verdict, and Matthews and the company reached a private settlement. For Matthews, his ordeal did not end ideally. He did not receive the compensation he was originally awarded by the jury at trial. The company was not held fully accountable for the nursing home abuse that Matthews' mother suffered. But, this nursing home was indeed held responsible. However, for plaintiffs bringing this type of case in the future in Tennessee, holding nursing homes accountable for their malpractice may not be a realistic possibility.

According to The Tennessean, earlier this year, Tennessee law makers passed a measure placing strict limits on the rights of nursing home patients and their families to sue nursing homes for poor care. This new law, which caps the amount a jury can award, is slated to go into effect before October. This new law comes just a couple of years after lawmakers vastly reduced oversight of the state's nursing homes by eliminating regulations mandating that nursing home operators file detailed reports on adverse events affecting patients. The previous law also eliminated requirements that the state investigate those incidents. Combined, these laws mean lessened regulation of nursing homes, and the decreased ability of injured patients or their families to hold negligent nursing homes responsible for their actions. Overall, this seems like a poor state of affairs. So, the question is why is Tennessee choosing to take this route?

According to state politicians and state Health Department officials, the laws reducing the regulations on nursing homes were designed to decrease the backlog of nursing home abuse cases that had gone uninvestigated, and to streamline the whole investigatory process. Although this change came at the request of Health Department Officials, attorneys who regularly handle nursing home abuse or nursing home malpractice claims argue that this new law, which caps the amount plaintiffs can recover in a lawsuit, in conjunction with the previous law which resulted in lessened regulations of nursing homes, will lead to nursing homes operating negligently with impunity.

Continue reading "New Tennessee Law may lead to Greater Suffering for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and their Families" »

Find Your Attorney Match



We will match you with a well qualified attorney. There is no charge for matching with an attorney and, with respect to injury related legal matters, all of the attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Each attorney to whom you are matched through this website has satisfied the five qualifications which we believe are important for any attorney representing an individual or business.

(*) Required Fields