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Nursing Home Neglect – Justice Must Be Served

Nursing home neglect and abuse is not to be taken lightly. Families of victims are taking justice into their own hands, holding nursing homes responsible for its criminal acts.

A recent Pacific Business News article revealed that the daughter of an ex-resident of The Plaza at Mililani in Hawaii was suing the assisted-living establishment, blaming it for negligent treatment, wrongful death and emotional distress, seeking unspecified damages. Our nursing home abuse lawyers deeply sympathize with the daughter for the early death of her beloved mother due to negligence at the care home.

The lawsuit was filed by the daughter, whose late mother was staying at the facility for four months beginning June 2010 before her death at the age of 82.

The lawsuit claims that the woman, who was suffering from early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, fell at least seven times when she was at the facility. The falls caused loss of consciousness, a fractured wrist and deep wounds. Worse still, the victim developed a bedsore the size of a golf ball that wasn’t treated promptly, leading to infection.

The daughter is expecting special damages, general damages and punitive damages.
The lawsuit also alleges that the facility is short-staffed and its employees are not trained appropriately.

In related news, South Carolina police arrested a man from the town of Lamar following accusations that he abused a resident at a nursing home in Darlington.

The 21-year-old accused was taken into custody for mistreatment of a vulerable adult. The police disclosed that the accused, a certified nurse assistant at the care facility, slapped a victim on the face last week.

Reports of abuse and neglect of this type warrant extreme investigation. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to cancel the license of the person running the facility, as was the case for the person responsible for five nursing home facilities in Virginia. Recently, the Virginia Board of Long-Term Care Administrators revoked the man’s preceptor and administrative licenses.

Following two hours of testimony by state inspectors on situations associated with code violations at three of the facilities belonging to the accused – Oakwood Assisted Living, Madison Retirement Center and Ashwood Assisted Living – the Board discussed the matter for 30 minutes before voting to annul the man’s licenses.

The man has owned assisted living facilities in the area since 2003. The problems mentioned at the hearing included conditions observed this year as well as last year. The decision, however, does not hinder the accused from owning or running homes with licensed administrators on site.

The Board also imposed a $25,000 fine against the accused.

A Department of Social Services (DSS) licensing inspector described the continuing conditions at Madison. She reported that the home had a high populace of chronically mentally ill adults. Complaints included bed bug and cockroach infestations, fist fights, lack of food, and delayed reports of the death of a diabetic resident who declined medical care.

The Inspector for Ashwood provided a similarly long list of violations involving undocumented medication administration, poor record keeping, failure to adhere to admissions policies and insufficient staffing. The inspector believed that 90 percent of the home’s residents have mental health problems. Both care homes were in danger of having their licenses revoked.

Another licensing administrator analyzed inspections from Oakwood. She noticed that there were 19 reports of assaults from residents in just six months, which was enough to prove inadequate supervision.

The DSS administered multiple inspections at the three facilities mentioned at the hearing, many centered on specific complaints and code breaches, others to track compliance. The inspectors admitted that the accused devised improvement plans and achieved gradual successes. However, they also admitted there was no improvement in the conditions at the homes as a whole. The homes frequently lacked qualified administrators on site.

Before admitting your loved one to a nursing home, check all available sources to ensure the facility is not reputable for negligence. This information may be found online, in newspapers, and through word of mouth. If your loved one is already in a nursing home and suffered severe negligence, contact a nursing home negligence attorney immediately to fight for compensation.