The San Francisco Gate reported last week on a new lawsuit filed by a family following a tragic incident at an assisted-living facility. The details of the case are similar to one’s that our nursing home lawyers here in Chicago have seen time and again. It is a testament to the fact that many facilities continue to fail to learn from the past, with the same sort of preventable incidents occurring time and again, residents suffer as a result.
According to the report, the case stems from the death of an 85-year old female resident at the defendant-facility The woman suffered from Alzheimer’s, which was assuredly one of the reasons she was living in the facility to being with-to receive the close care she needed to stay safe each day. Attorneys representing the family in the matter explain that the 85-year old senior was having issues with another resident. The elderly woman told officials at the facility that the other resident was threatening her and stalking her.
However, the staffers only response, they claim, was to tell the woman that she should ignore the aggressive fellow resident by walking down a different corridor. That minimal advice proved to be fruitless. That is because the man eventually attacked the elderly woman. She died a few days after the attack from her injuries.
After the incident and learning more about what might have happened, the family visited with legal professionals who work with abuse and neglect cases at long-term care facilities. Those attorneys eventually filed an injury and wrongful death suit against the defendant facility. That is common after these incidents.
When a resident dies as a result of injuries which could have been prevented with proper care, then at least two legal claims are often raised. First, a negligence claim is filed on the behalf of the deceased for the negligence that caused this harm. If any funds are recovered for that claim, those funds would go to the deceased’s estate-and then dispersed as part of their will or other estate planning documents. In addition, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of specific survivors (usually children, parents, or siblings). That claim is for damage suffered specifically by those relatives. If any damages are awarded for that claim, then they will go directly to the relatives named as plaintiffs in the suit.
Resident on Resident Violence
Unfortunately, resident attacks on other residents are not uncommon; it occurs far more than many suspect. The risks are higher for residents who suffers from cognitive challenges, like Alzheimer’s and other dementias. For example, our team of attorneys is working on just such a case following a similar attack in Oak Park. As in this case, the resident in the Oak Park facility was suffering from cognitive deterioration problems. The family placed their loved one in the home specifically because they knew he needed close care to help with his condition. They never expected that by placing him at the facility they would be exposing him to more dangers-and an attack that would ultimately claim his life. But when caregivers fail to do their job appropriately at all times, then accidents like this are far more likely to occur.
See Our Related Blog Posts: