Theft of resident medication may constitute nursing home neglect

Nursing home neglect and abuse can take many forms. While bruises and broken bones may be the first thing that comes to mind, the abuse residents endure may not leave any physical evidence. An example of this is the theft of resident medication.

Recently a nurse who worked at an Alabama nursing home was criminally charged with that very thing. The woman, an LPN, was allegedly selling the medication she took. Hydrocodone, insulin and clonazepam were found in her car when she was pulled over for a traffic violation. More medications were recovered at her home.

As a result of these thefts it is possible that residents of the nursing home either experienced worsening medical conditions or pain associated with not having the medication they had been prescribed. Most would agree that treating the elderly in this way is not acceptable.

In addition to second-degree theft of property the nurse was also charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance. The investigation into the matter is ongoing.

It is possible that there will be additional fallout in connection with the medication theft. Families of residents who were harmed as a result of their medication being taken could decide to pursue a civil case against the nursing home. A personal injury lawsuit of this nature could be appropriate when negligence on the part of the facility is to blame for those thefts. When successful, personal injury lawsuits result in financial compensation for the injury.

Individuals considering this course of action should work with a lawyer who understands how these cases work. An attorney can help determine whether based on the circumstances such a case is viable.

Source: AL.com, “Nurse at Brookshire Nursing Home in Huntsville charged with stealing patients' medication,” Tiffany Donaldson, Jan, 23, 2015

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