Brain Injuries, Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes: Part 2

In this second installment on brain injuries in the context of nursing homes, we explore various theories of liability.

For starters, it is important to understand the legal relationship between nursing home residents and facilities. Most residents sign a contract with a facility. The terms may vary, but generally cover matters of cost and the services provided in exchange. When an instance of abuse results from the failure of a facility to deliver on the services described in that agreement, the claim may actually be one of breach of contract. 

Yet even a contractual claim alleging nursing home abuse may implicate personal injury legal theories. For example, the contract may have promised the delivery of services as reasonably necessary. It will likely be up to a jury to interpret whether the standard of care provided to the nursing home resident fell below that reasonableness threshold.

If it did, the nursing home facility may be deemed to have breached its contractual duty. If causation exists between that breach and the resident’s injury, liability may exist. As in other personal injury lawsuits, other parties may also share liability or be named as defendants. After establishing a legal duty, a breach and causation, the remaining issue will be the amount of compensation that the injured resident should be awarded.

There are many ways that a nursing home may fall below the level of professional care, resulting in injury to its elderly residents. Liability may attach from negligent supervision, negligent maintenance of the premises, negligent maintenance of facility equipment, or even the failure to properly hire employees qualified to provide care to a specific population. Our law firm focuses on this area of law and our website provides additional discussion.

Source: FindLaw, “Nursing Home Abuse Claims,” copyright 2015, Thomson Reuters

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