Family Cites 'Neglect' In Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit
Thank you to Jon Rosenfeld for the great recap of what is an all-to-common nursing home case. The major factor here is the life care plan. It required a two-person assist for transfers. This meant the person being assisted was unable to move herself well enough with one person, could not, even with the help of one person, make it from the bed to the wheelchair, from the wheelchair to the commode, virtually bedbound or chairbound.
Unfortunately, often in for-profit homes, the chronic understaffing leads to these two-person assists being conducted by one person, if at all. Another common issue is a failure to respond to call lights, which leads to the resident attempting to make the trip to the bathroom on their own without assistance, causing a fall.
When you're up there in age, these falls can take a toll. You don't heal as well as you used to. It can be the start of a decline.
Research any home thoroughly. Its really the only way to make sure. Talk to the residents, ask them questions. The staff is there to tell you what you want to hear, the residents aren't.
A Minnesota family cites repeated neglect as being responsible for the death of their mother, 91-year-old Esther Rannow.
The poor care started when Ms. Rannow entered the Benedictine Living Community in St. Peter, MN in February 2007. In addition to developing a urinary tract infection that went untreated, the family also identifies episodes of poor nursing that cumulatively took a toll on their mother—and eventually claimed her life.
Specifically, the family identifies an episode in October 2007 when a CNA dropped their mother as she was attempting to place her into a bed from a hospital gurney. The dropping incident occurred just one month after Ms. Rannow was injured in a similar incident. The second incident occurred when one CNA attempted to transfer their mother to a wheelchair while the ‘care plan’ required a two-person assist.
The family’s reports of neglect at the nursing home were reported to the Minnesota Department of Health, but the agency was unable to substantiate the neglect based on their findings.
Not satisfied with the Department of Health’s investigative findings, the family has elected to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against Benedictine Living Community and its parent company Benedictine Health Dimensions.
In the lawsuit, attorneys for the family will likely have an opportunity to ask questions of the employees who have knowledge of this incident. Oral questioning or depositions, as they are commonly known, allow an attorney to ask questions of a witness under oath.
In many nursing home injury cases, a skillfully taken deposition can not only provide clarification as to how an incident may have occurred, but frequently can be effective in getting cases resolved—particularly, when facts that are unfavorable to the facility are disclosed by current or former employees.
As this lawsuit moves through the discovery phases, we will soon learn whose interpretation of events is more accurate.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against St. Peter Nursing Home by Dan Nienaber The Free Press, December 7, 2010