Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
As our population ages, more and more North Carolinians will live their final years in nursing homes, rest homes, and assisted living facilities. The needs and medical requirements of these residents are often enormous. Yet many adult care facilities are served by employees who are poorly trained, overworked and underpaid. Furthermore, the profit motive of many such institutions is a higher priority than the quality of care. Negligent care of residents can take many forms: inattention to basic necessities like food, water and medicine; failure to turn bedridden patients, so as to prevent pressure sores; lack of supervision resulting in falls and injuries; overmedicating patients; permitting disoriented patients to wander off the facilities’ premises. Many homes are ill-equipped to protect their residents during emergencies, such as fires or major storms. Even worse, some residents are physically abused by those very people they and their families mistakenly trust as their caregivers. Our firm has represented residents and their families in case where the facilities’ negligent conduct has resulted in injury or death.
- Sam McGee, who has lectured on Nursing Home litigation to the Southern Trial Lawyers Association and North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, has successfully represented the families of several nursing home residents who died as the result of bed sores, falls, dehydration and malnutrition. These include cases in both North Carolina and Tennessee.
- Gary Jackson served as lead counsel for the families of eight elderly men who died in North Carolina’s worst nursing home fire.
- Successful representation of the family of a resident who froze to death after spending several hours unattended and unnoticed just outside his assisted living facility.
- Gary Jackson successfully represented the family of a woman who resided in an assisted living facility and died after pleading for hours to be sent to the local emergency room.
- Sam McGee won two cases in the Tennessee Court of Appeals, defeating a mandatory arbitration clause in nursing home admissions contract that was designed to force nursing home residents and their families to arbitrate their claims before a trade association for the health care industry.
- Sam also obtained a substantial recovery for a nursing home resident who was sexually assaulted by her roommate’s son.
Effective prosecution of cases against adult care facilities requires thorough understanding of the rules and regulations of various government agencies which oversee these institutions. Given the emotional nature of coping with these tragic circumstances, the case also demand attorneys who are devoted to providing individualized, compassionate attention to families and victims. The Jackson Law Group is experienced and committed to achieving this quality of representation. Before selecting an adult care facility, families should investigate the institution’s history, including any infractions, violations or penalties imposed by government regulators. Such information can be obtained from the North Carolina Division of Facilities Services. Many facilities are operated as chains and owned by large corporate conglomerates. Some have no insurance and no assets in the event a lawsuit is successful. A thorough investigation should be undertaken before choosing a home. Patients and their families should be aware of the protections provided by North Carolina’s Adult Care Home Bill of Rights.
Types of Cases we Handle
According to expert witnesses with whom we have consulted, good care should almost always ***** . if your loved one has developed bed sores, it is possible that the nursing home may be at fault. Some sores require substantial charges for surgical care. Others result in death. You may be able to recover for pain and suffering, as well as the medical bills for surgical and other treatment of the sores.
Many nursing home patients have complicated medical situations. Causes of death are often difficult to determine. However, many deaths in nursing homes are unnecessary, and result from bed sores, falls, dehydration, malnutrition and other conditions that could have been prevented. If you have concerns about your loved ones’ cause of death, and feel that the nursing home may have been at fault, a review of your medical records may help determine if you have legal rights.
On occasion, nursing home patients are physically or sexually assaulted, either by staff members, other residents, or guests of other residents. The nursing home has a duty to protect its residents from these types of incident. If the attacker is a staff member, or someone the nursing home reason to suspect might be a threat, the nursing home may be held responsible for the assault.
It is the nursing home’s responsibility to try to prevent patients from falling. Many patients are unstable and prone to fall, either due to medications or poor mobility. These risks are known to the nursing home, and adequate precautions must be taken. Falls often occur when a) a patient is being transferred or handled by staff, b) patients roll out of bed, or c) patients are allowed to wander unsupervised. The nursing home should be particularly careful with patients who have fallen before. Some falls cause serious injury or death.
Dehydration and Malnutrition
Many nursing home patients do not get sufficient food and water. Dehydration and malnutrition are serious medical conditions that often result in death. We routinely evaluate potential claims against nursing homes, rest homes, and assisted living facilities. If you or a family member need advice on the merits of a possible claim, please contact us.