Most instances of nursing home neglect involve passive misconduct-not doing something that should have been done. Of course active errors certainly occur as well-residents are physically abused, doors are left unlocked, and similar errors are made. However, for sheer number of occurrences, failure to do things which should have been done constitute a majority of cases of nursing home caregiving problems.
However, it is the active instances of misconduct which often attract more attention, because the conduct is usually egregious. One example of that is highlighted in a new nursing home neglect lawsuit filed by a daughter against the facility that was supposed to be caring for her father. Ultimate Fort Bend reported on the case this week. The woman claims that a nurse at the facility physically and verbally assaulted her elderly father as well as failed to provide proper treatment for an injury he had suffered. If true, the allegations are serious ones that represent gross negligence and abuse at the involved care facility.
The lawsuit names both the facility and one of its employees as defendants. According to the complaint, the nurse-defendant at the facility got into a disagreement with the resident. That disagreement resulted in the nurse verbally bashing the man before getting into a fist-fight with him. The resident was 89-years old and had Alzheimer’s at the time of the incident. The plaintiff’s pleading alleges that the senior suffered a black eye and a cut above the eyebrow as a result of the altercation with the nurse. For their part, the nursing home and employee are denying the charges. Instead, they claim that the man’s injuries were caused by his accidentally hitting his head against a hospital bed. Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers know that many local residents have been given similar explanations when asking about suspicious injuries to their loved ones.
This latest lawsuit further alleges that only two weeks after this alleged attack the senior was rushed to a hospital after being found unresponsive. Nurses at the hospital where the man was taken admitted that they thought the unresponsiveness was caused by a blow to the man’s head by blunt object. Not long after he arrived at the hospital the resident was forced to undergo surgery for a subdural hematoma-bleeding on the brain. That sort of injury is frequently caused by serious head trauma.
Each Illinois nursing home lawyer at our firm remains shocked when instances of outright abuse of residents are reported. It is hard for most community members to understand how one charged with caring for a vulnerable resident could intentionally harm a senior at a facility. There are a wide range of causes for these acts, often stemming from the stress and built up frustration of the staff member. Of course, in no instances are the attacks appropriate or acceptable. However, it is only by getting to the bottom of each of these instances of abuse that we can better understand exactly what situations are likely to cause the mistreatment and work to stop it before residents are actually harmed.
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