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What is nursing home negligence?

The U.S. Government, owner and operator of James J. Peters Nursing Home in the Bronx, is being sued in connection with the death of an elderly Vietnam War veteran who died after two slip and fall incidents on the same day in 2014. The lawsuit contends that the government failed to provide the appropriate standard of care by not assisting the patient with getting out of bed. After the falls, the nursing home failed to provide him with the appropriate medical treatment. The suit also contends that the government was negligent for hiring incompetent staff and failing to properly train them. The staff failed to supervise the patient and did not treat him after the falls, which subsequently led to his death, according to the complaint. As tragic as this case is, claims of nursing home negligence are not uncommon. In fact, the elder care system is plagued by incidents of abuse and neglect. It is unclear whether this being a government run facility was a factor in the patient’s death; however, the lawsuit claims the government as owner was negligent, in violation of the New York’s health code, and that this negligence was tantamount to medical malpractice. It is important to note that nursing homes are required to develop a care plan when a patient first enters a facility. This includes an assessment of the amount of assistance a patient will need to move around the facility safely. However, when patients are poorly supervised falls are not uncommon. Patients can slip on wet floors, fall out of poorly fitted wheelchairs, or from beds that are too high. These incidents can be prevented if there is adequate staff on hand to ensure that residents are assisted with moving around. The lawsuit also contends that the staff was incompetent and poorly trained, which is also not uncommon, in both government and privately run facilities. Whether due to budget constraints or greed, nursing homes often look to cut costs and their facilities are either inadequately staffed, or the staff is inexperienced. In the end, cases of nursing home negligence that lead to injuries and death are on the rise. While the outcome of this case is uncertain, experienced personal injury attorneys continue to fight for the rights of the elderly and hold nursing homes accountable.