Families claim nursing home responsible for loved ones’ deaths

Posted on behalf of The Bell Law Firm, PLLC on Jul 14, 2011 in Nursing Home Injury or Death

Just two weeks after the West Virginia Supreme Court strengthened the contractual rights of nursing home patients, a Putnam County facility is facing two wrongful death lawsuit s. The plaintiffs allege that the home abused, neglected and caused the deaths of their family members.

The 124-bed, for-profit facility is larger than most nursing homes in the state, according to a consumer information website. The home also boasts more patients than the state average. For those patients, though, quantity may not translate into quality: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave the home just one out of five stars.

In one of the lawsuits, a woman states that her mother was a patient four times from August 2009 until she passed away at the end of February 2010. During those stays, the plaintiff alleges, the home's "systemic abuse and neglect" resulted in her mother sustaining bedsores, losing weight and falling.

The plaintiff is asking the court to award damages for, among other things, pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, aggravation of existing disease and her mother's death. The plaintiff asks the court to impose punitive damages and requests the nursing home pay medical expenses.

The other plaintiff alleges the nursing home was responsible for her husband's death. He was a patient at the facility for one week in July 2009, during which time he sustained serious injuries "from a pattern of negligence and abuse," according to the complaint. Specifically, the complaint continues, he suffered an unexplained injury, a fractured right hip, dehydration, a urinary tract infection and sepsis.

In addition to compensation for her husband's death, the plaintiff is seeking damages for the man's pain and suffering and anguish.

Sources:

The Charleston (WV) Gazette, "Putnam nursing home named in wrongful-death lawsuits," 07/blog/2011

Local Nursing Homes, Teays Valley Center Inspection Deficiencies, http://local-nursing-homes.com/

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