When Maryland residents face the tough decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home, they expect the person will receive quality care. They certainly do not expect the person will suffer a nursing home injury at the hands of the nursing home staff.
For one Maryland family, this disturbing picture became a reality, after a 43-year-old caregiver in a nursing home physically assaulted an 84-year-old male resident. The caregiver was charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult, as well as a misdemeanor count of assault, based on the incident. These charges could place the caregiver in jail for up to 10 years.
Tragically, cases like the above are not isolated incidents. Personal injury claims are more likely when facilities have inadequately trained staff, staff with a violent history or inadequate staffing numbers. In these cases, not only may criminal charges be available, but a personal injury claim in civil court based on the injury.
In a civil case, nursing homes may be negligent if they negligently hired or supervised employees, or if they negligently maintained the premises. Like a medical malpractice action, a person in a negligence action against a nursing home must prove the home or employees of the home breached a duty of care to the person, which caused the person's injury.
For instance, in a case like the above, the nursing home itself might be sued if it negligently hired or supervised the violent caregiver. By holding the home accountable, the injured party can better recover for their injuries.
Source: CBS Baltimore, "Baltimore County caregiver indicted for abusing 84-year-old patient," Mar. 21, 2013