Nursing Home Neglect Attorney
Serving Kansas City, Independence, Blue Springs & Lee’s Summit
Horn Law has a special concentration in cases arising from nursing home neglect, including cases arising from patient falls and medication errors. The following represents a recent example of an important case for an elderly woman who entered an Independence, Missouri Nursing Home in order to recover for a urinary tract infection.
Horn Law represents an elderly woman who fell while in the care of an Independence, Missouri nursing home and suffered a fractured left hip. This type of injury is very significant because it will inevitably cause permanent disability and will restrict the woman to a nursing facility for the rest of her life.
Prior to entering the nursing home, our client had been hospitalized for treatment of a urinary tract infection. Because of her advanced age, she was sent to the nursing home in order to gain back her strength. She was expected to spend about a month within the nursing home and then return to her home where she had been living on her own.
It is significant to note that upon entering the nursing home our client was identified as a “fall risk”. In fact, the evidence will show that the nursing home had placed a special wrist band on our client to identify her as a “fall risk”. It is very important that the nursing home perform a complete medical screening upon the admission of a new patient and determining those patients susceptible to a fall is one of the most important assessments related to new patients. This is because the large majority of patients have difficulty with mobility and the responsibility to transfer the patient is integral to their overall health.
It is also significant to note that this accident happened within 24 hours after admission. The nursing home records do not reveal the specifics as to the fall. Although we all would like to think differently, many nursing homes are afraid to be specific in the records because this is a permanent record of what happened. When the records are vague, the nursing home has a better chance to defend a legal case.
In our legal case, we filed a petition for damages in the Circuit Court of Jackson County and asserted a claim for nursing home negligence. Additionally, our petition also contains a claim under the Missouri Omnibus Nursing Home Act. There is a statutory of provision under this act that gives rise to liability and a written complaint was filed with the Office of Attorney General.
During the course of the case we were able to determine that certain policies, procedures, and protocols were violated by the nursing home supervisors and staff. If the procedures would have been followed, that would have significantly reduced the fall risk as it relates to our client.
Additionally, there was evidence that this particular nursing home had “staffing deficiencies”. Staffing deficiencies relate to qualifications, training, and number of nurses available to take care of the nursing home residents. In many cases we handle, we find that the “staffing deficiencies”were an important factor leading to the accident or error.
Most nursing home neglect cases represent what we refer to as an “avoidable accident or error” and the evidence usually points back to sloppy nursing home management. In these cases, Horn Law has 2 primary priorities. First, we must obtain a full settlement or recovery to compensate the injured patient. Secondly, we want to do what we can to hold the nursing home accountable so that the risk of future accidents or errors are minimized. Many times a properly handled lawsuit will greatly encourage nursing homes to pay more attention to proper procedures.