The family of an elderly woman with dementia has been awarded $7.5 million by a jury who determined that the woman’s nursing home could have prevented her sexual assault.
Jury Determines Nursing Home Negligence Resulted In Sexual Abuse
In January 2013, a 63-year-old male resident at a nursing home performed a sexual act with an 83-year-old female resident. While finding companionship is common in nursing homes, the issue with this relationship was that the woman has dementia and so couldn’t provide consent.
The nursing home was aware that the two were seeing one another and allowed the two to spend time together because they alleged that the female patient was eating better and responding better to her caretakers.
Her family, however, alleges that the nursing home knew that the male resident had not only been previously convicted of rape but that he had threatened to rape a staff member. In addition to this, the family claims that certain staff members also told supervisors about their concerns regarding sexually aggressive behavior that the male resident displayed while interacting with the female and their concerns about her ability to provide consent. However, despite several reports, no effort to separate the two and the man used the woman’s medical behavior to sexually abuse her.
The family filed a lawsuit against the nursing home and after a several week trial, the jury determined that the nursing home was 85% at fault and awarded the plaintiffs $7.5 million.
This isn’t the first time that a nursing home has been made to pay for their mistakes and it certainly won’t be the last because sadly, thousands of nursing home residents face numerous dangers on a regular basis.
Nursing Home Residents Are Regularly At Risk
Nursing home residents who live in these facilities because they require additional care frequently end up hurt through neglect and negligence. Common causes of injury in nursing homes include:
The elderly often require medications to treat various medical conditions and it’s incredibly important that those medications be administered per the doctor’s orders. Unfortunately, medication errors such as overmedication and failure to medicate happen frequently.
Slip & Fall Accidents
Safety bars should be installed on beds, in bathrooms, and hallways for residents to use. In addition to this, wheelchairs should be available and staff members should always be near to assist anyone who is unsteady on their feet.
When a nursing home resident slips and falls, they may sustain:
- Broken Bones
- Brain Damage
- Spinal Damage
These injuries are not only painful but they can be quite expensive to treat. Depending on the resident’s health prior to falling, the injury may forever remove any ability to function on their own.
Statistics have shown that the majority of nursing homes are understaffed and that this results in residents not getting the care that they need. Signs of neglect typically include weight loss, confusion, bed sores, and infection.
If you or a loved one have been hurt because of a nursing home accident or neglect, you may be able to recover significant compensation.
Nursing Home Lawsuits
A nursing home lawsuit is a civil lawsuit that is filed so that those who have been hurt through neglect or abuse can recover compensation which will help them get the care that they need in order to heal. This lawsuit may be filed by the nursing home resident or, if the resident passed away from their injuries, the lawsuit may be filed by a family member.
If you believe that you or your loved one are eligible to file a nursing home lawsuit, call our law firm now. Our attorneys offer free consultations during which we will review your case and then present all legal options available to you. Call us now to learn more.