Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question “What constitutes nursing home negligence?

The Supreme Court issued an important decision today impacting millions of families across the country. The Court decided to weigh into an issue that has generated increasing controversy over the past several years: arbitration agreements. After hearing the facts of the case, the Court chose to side with big business interests, in this case, the nursing home industry, over the individual families who seldom understand that these agreements exist to strip them of their rights.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question “What constitutes nursing home negligence?”

Anyone with an elderly loved one has likely run across a mandatory arbitration clause, whether they realize it or not. The reason is that the retirement/nursing home industry has embraced the use of these forced arbitration clauses more than almost any other group. The aim is to avoid potentially costly lawsuits and force patients and their families to take any disputes before an arbitration panel, something more likely to result in lower verdicts.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question “What constitutes nursing home negligence?”

A recent study indicates that problems with care at nursing homes across the country may be linked to the poor quality of life of those working in the nursing facilities. The study revealed that nursing assistants are frequently underpaid, overworked, have bad benefits, lack opportunities for advancement and suffer high rates of workplace injury. These problems combine to make it difficult for nursing homes to recruit and, even more importantly, retain quality staff. The high turnover rates are problems not only for staff and the facilities that employ them, but for those patients who depend on their care.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What constitutes nursing home negligence?”

 

A four-year-long pursuit of justice ended last month for a former Orangeburg, South Carolina nursing home employee who was accused of attempting to rape a mentally handicapped woman in 2010.

Shadowy Hallway Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Nursing Home Negligence AttorneyThen-54-year-old Ralph C. Williams was charged in June of 2010 with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and abuse of a vulnerable adult. At the time, an employee at the Orangeburg Nursing Home called Capt. Mike Adams of the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety to report that she saw Mr. Williams on top of a 42-year-old female patient with his “scrub pants down and appeared to be starting to have sex with (the patient).”

Williams was acquitted of the criminal charges in 2012. As it turned out, he was the victim of false allegations lodged against him by Patricia Johnson, Josette Peppers and UniHealth Post Acute Care, LLC, an Orangeburg jury found. Johnson, Peppers and UniHealth were named as defendants in a defamation lawsuit Williams brought to clear his name.

Defamation, in general, is defined as any statement—written or spoken—that damages a person’s reputation. The statement must be “published;” in other words, the defamatory statement must be made to a third party or third parties. The plaintiff in a defamation lawsuit must prove that he or she was damaged by the alleged defamatory statement or statements.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What will happen after I file my nursing home complaint?”

 

The population of the United States is getting older, literally. While in general the modern elderly are more active, independent and healthy than at any time in recorded history, the sheer number of elderly persons needing basic and extraordinary care is growing. As the so-called Baby-Boomer generation nears and enters retirement, the number of persons needing basic and extraordinary care is expected to continue to increase.

Birthday Cake Charlotte Injury Attorney North Carolina Elder Neglect LawyerMany elderly persons are outliving their retirement. Many have few opportunities for gainful employment, even if they can work, and face struggles to generate enough income to cover basic expenses, not to mention soaring medical costs. Inevitably these persons turn to their families for help. Families are faced with footing the bills for nursing homes or finding people to care for loved ones.

Unfortunately, many families are unequipped to deal with the expenses associated with caring for elderly loved ones. The American Psychological Association estimates that some 4 million older Americans fall victim to abuse or neglect every year. Observers report, however, that for every reported case of abuse or neglect, as many as 23 go unreported. Most instances of elder abuse or neglect do not occur in nursing homes. Sadly, most instances of elder abuse and neglect occur at home. Most often, family members, household members or paid caregivers are the abusers.   Continue reading →

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What information will be helpful for my nursing home negligence claim?”

A nursing home located in High Point, NC has been sanctioned by officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services according to a recently released report. State officials say that the facility failed to properly respond to a dangerous fall by a resident, which eventually led to the patient’s death.

Walker Charlotte Personal Injury Wrongful Death Lawyer Attorney North Carolina.jpgInvestigators with the HHS Department cited the nursing home, Westchester Manor at Providence Place, after it was discovered that the staff at the facility never bothered to notify a doctor that a resident had fallen and seriously injured her head. The head trauma ultimately proved fatal.

The NC Department of HHS recommended that the federal government order the home pay $10,000 in fines for breaching its duty owed to the injured patient. Westchester Manor is also required to come up with a plan of action to correct the deficiencies which led to the deadly error in the first place. The home is also prevented from taking on any new patients until it is found to be in substantial compliance with nursing home regulations.

The specific incident involved an elderly woman who was admitted to Westchester Manor in early February for rehabilitation following a stroke. The woman suffered from other health conditions including dementia. Only a month after being admitted, the woman was found on the floor of her room by a nurse who noted that she had hit the back of her head while attempting to take herself to the bathroom. Nurses noticed a big bump on the back of the woman’s head and claim they intended to notify a doctor about the fall, something investigators say never happened.

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Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina.jpgThe ABC11 I-Team recently revealed a series of problems with the existing nursing home rating system in North Carolina.

The federal government ranks nursing homes on a system ranging from 1-star for the worst to 5-star for the best such facilities. The news station report revealed that almost half of the homes in North Carolina’s biggest counties are providing subpar service to their needy North Carolina residents.

This low ranking means that almost half the facilities in such populated parts of the state are unsanitary and could even place patients’ health at risk. The report discovered serious violations including failure to report abuse, failure to properly secure residents during transport and even one facility that had room temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees which resulted in one resident dying from hypothermia.

However, even the best facilities can still have serious problems. One woman told reporters that she’s angry after her mother’s death at the Kindred Transitional Care Rehabilitation, one of the top-rated nursing homes in Raleigh, NC. She claims that the staff at the home neglected her mother and never provided the care she needed.

An investigation showed that while the nursing home may have had a 4-star rating, the simplistic system failed to reveal serious past problems at the facility. Just two years ago the state fined the home more than $200,000 for putting residents in “immediate jeopardy to health and safety”. In 2009, another investigation by the state turned up a series of violations that the home then had to take action to correct.

Yet despite the importance of some of the information, the Medicare website where such rankings are found, www.medicare.gov, contained none of it. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid responded to this news by saying that recent changes to the site should help to improve the depth of information available for concerned patients and their families. Though that’s great news, it doesn’t help the families who already placed loved ones in homes while relying on faulty ratings.

Even now, many patients’ rights advocates complain that the Medicare website lags in providing accurate information for caregivers. Given high staff turnover at such facilities, nursing homes can deteriorate quickly and it can take time for resulting problems to appear on the rating website.

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