When a loved one is under the care of a medical facility, you may trust that he or she is provided with superior and attentive medical care. Unfortunately, some nursing homes neglect the elderly. In some cases, this lack of attentiveness can result in death.
For example, the West Virginia Supreme Court recently heard positions on a matter concerning a $91 million judgment against a Charleston nursing home. In 2011, a jury out found that Heartland of Charleston did not adequately feed and care for one of its residents, who stayed at the nursing home for approximately 21 days.Eighteen days after the resident's release from the facility, the 87 year-old woman passed away.
Plaintiffs, on behalf of the victim, originally secured a jury award for $91.5 million. Upon appeal, a local judge later affirmed the ruling; however, the court cut the award by $400,000, as a result of West Virginia's $500,000 medical cap on non-economic damages in medical liability matters.
Now, the nursing home is appealing, noting that all the allegations against the defendants and its employees should be subject to the $500,000 cap. The matter is still pending.
Nursing home neglect
Families rarely want to send a loved one to a nursing home; however, when it becomes difficult to care and support the needs of a family member in the home environment, sometimes, this is the only option. Unfortunately, these days, medical care is not always provided in accordance with essential medical standards. This is especially true of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Nursing home abuse is a common and a very real issue in West Virginia. Over and over, medical facilities and staff fail to provide adequate care. More commonly, medical negligence or abuse results from the following serious issues:
- Permitting residents to sit in their own waste
- Stiff or frozen joints
- Falls (sometimes undocumented)
- Unexplained harm, including cuts, burns, bruises or breaks
- Bed sores
- Failure to keep up with hygiene standards
- Refusing visitation periods
- Theft of personal possessions
- Alterations to one's will or financial documents
Those suffering from a serious condition can do little to protect themselves. When those in positions of medical authority take advantage of vulnerable persons, serious harm can result, including death.
If you or someone close has suffered from medical negligence or abuse, speak with a personal injury law attorney about what happened. On no account do our loved ones deserve to suffer from abuse.