NURSING HOME UNDERSTAFFING MAY GIVE RISE TO WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS
Mar 6, 2015 - Wrongful Death
Pennsylvania recognizes that patients have a right to expect their health care providers to provide them with necessary and appropriate medical care. As patients, we rely on our health care providers to improve our overall health. We certainly do not expect them to make our conditions worse.
When some people think of medical malpractice, they often imagine some horrible mistake that a surgeon makes during surgery. However, many malpractice cases are much more subtle. In fact, some instances of medical malpractice occur slowly over time in nursing homes or assisted living facilities rather than happening abruptly on operating room tables.
Most facilities that look after the needs of the elderly and infirm do observe proper rules and regulations when providing care for their patients. Unfortunately, there are also some of these facilities that attempt to cut corners at the expense of their patient’s health.
A good example of this is a case that occurred in August 2012, which involved the death of an elderly man at an Altoona, Pennsylvania assisted living facility. The victim’s surviving family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility. They alleged that the facility was grossly understaffed and therefore, not properly equipped to provide monitoring of the victim’s health. According to the complaint, the victim reportedly lost 14 pounds just after four days of entering the facility. The complaint also includes allegations of specific neglect including clogged feeding tubes, injuries related to falls and the development of a drug-resistant infection.
Although this case has still not been decided, it does offer a glimpse into how nursing home neglect might lead to the wrongful death of a patient. In a previous post to our website, we discussed how Pennsylvania statutes allow surviving family members to sue others for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones.
If you suspect that a health care facility may have committed wrongful or negligent acts that resulted in the death of someone you care about, you may be entitled to seek compensation for their loss.
Our attorneys have experience representing clients in wrongful death lawsuit claims. Although our law firm is based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, prospective clients should know that we also maintain three other offices in Allentown, Easton and Stroudsburg. Our law firm can also represent clients in New Jersey. Spanish-language translation services are available through our firm for Spanish-speaking clients.