Nursing Home Resident Killed in Fight, Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Likely
A state report blames a nursing home that failed to supervise two residents who had a history of altercations with each other, for a fatal fight that killed one of the residents. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse situations often arise due to inadequate supervision of residents and/or inadequate training of staff to evaluate the potential for resident-on-resident attacks. As nursing home abuse attorneys know, these attacks can often turn deadly.
Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers have known for a long while that Georgia struggles with providing a safe environment for nursing home residents. In 2002, a report by the American Medical Association found that nursing home abuse problems in Georgia were at crisis levels. In fact, during this period of time, nursing home abuse claims in the state rose not just in frequency, but also in the severity of injuries involved.
Often, elder abuse in nursing homes can be traced to a shortage of staff. Many nursing facilities deal with low reimbursement rates by cutting back on staff numbers, and therefore, eroding the quality of care. As a result, there are fewer numbers of staff members to pay individual attention to senior residents, many of who are in delicate health.
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult one. However, family members must ensure that they visit their senior citizens at the nursing home as often as possible, and must make sure that their loved one is being looked after well.
The incident occurred at a nursing home in Chicago, and the investigation was completed by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The victim, 80-year-old Anibal Calderon was involved in a fight at the nursing home on February 14. Nurses heard loud screaming from his room, and rushed to the room to find the 88-year-old Calderon on the ground, bleeding from his head. A 66-year-old resident stood beside him.
Calderon died of his injuries 2 days later. According to the local medical examiner's office, the cause of death was homicide. The other resident has not yet been charged.
According to nursing home records, staff at the nursing home had enough information to indicate that both men had become increasingly prone to worrisome behavior. For instance, both men had been found wandering on several occasions, and were frequently given to verbal outbursts. They also showed signs of forgetfulness, and symptoms of an aggressive disorder.
When nursing home staff became aware of these problems, they should have taken all steps to address these issues. Efforts should have been made to supervise and monitor both the men. No such efforts were made. As a result, staff members were not on hand to prevent the altercation that resulted in Calderon’s death.
According to a report by the state Department of Public Health, the nursing home did not have any established policy to address physically aggressive behavior by inmates. As a result, the staff at the facility was ill-equipped to deal with aggressive behavior by inmates.
The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent inmates who have been injured or family members of those killed as a result of nursing home abuse or negligence.