Lake Charles
Baton Rouge

Family files wrongful death claim against nursing home

Louisiana nursing homes are responsible for ensuring the safety and health of their residents. This includes inspecting and maintaining the facility and all equipment. The staff is also expected to address the health concerns of residents -- especially if a resident was involved in an accident of some kind. A wrongful death claim filed by one family says that the nursing home where their loved one lived failed on both counts.

After a stroke in Oct. 2013, the plaintiff's father was admitted to a nursing home while he recovered. Court documents indicate that on Nov. 16, 2013, the man was in a chair located under a thermostat. As an employee adjusted the thermostat, the metal box covering it fell and hit the man on the head.

Over the course of the next few months, the victim's family says that he suffered from dizziness, headaches and loss of balance. However, it is alleged that his complaints were ignored. On May 17, 2014, the man finally received an MRI, which the family claims indicated that his complaints were connected to the injury he suffered back in November. He ultimately died, and his family asserts that his death was caused by the head injury and subsequent lack of care.

It will be up to a Louisiana court to determine whether the nursing home's actions -- or inaction as the case may be -- caused or contributed to his death. If the court determines that the nursing home was negligent, the family may be awarded damages typically seen in wrongful death claims. A monetary judgment could help in securing restitution for financial losses, but a successfully litigated claim may also help to prevent another family from going through the same tragedy.

Source: The Louisiana Record, "Wrongful death lawsuit filed against nursing home", Kyle Barnett, Jan. 20, 2015


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