If your loved one suffered a wrongful death in a nursing home, nursing home wrongful death attorneys can help you obtain a settlement. Settlements help families recover from the physical and emotional toll of nursing home abuse and neglect. Claimants may sue to cover the costs of funerals, medical expenses, and loss of income. Families may also claim damages for emotional pain and suffering. Nursing homes often must pay fines to their state regulator if local officials find that the nursing home has neglected its residents or allowed abuse to take place.
Nursing Home Negligence Cases
Negligence is often alleged in nursing home wrongful death cases. Even if the nursing home did not actively abuse the patient, neglect of an elder’s physical and emotional well-being can be just as damaging.
Staffing shortages are frequently cited as the reason behind nursing home neglect settlement cases. Chronic understaffing became an issue during Covid, although some class action suits allege nursing homes purposely understaff to maximize profits. Understaffing is a common cause of neglect.
Nursing home abuse lawsuits may address the following types of elder abuse and neglect:
- Accidental falls
Nursing homes can also be held liable for failing to stop elder abuse. In 2019, a wrongful death lawsuit in Massachusetts alleged that nursing home staff had failed to intervene when a resident’s roommate bludgeoned him with a walker. The man died from his injuries. This is not the only case of a nursing home resident being attacked by a fellow resident, a type of nursing home attributed to understaffing.
Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit Settlements
Nursing home negligence cases have resulted in lawsuits and million-dollar penalties for nursing homes.
Nursing Home Negligence and Fraud
In December 2022, the New York Attorney General sued a Long Island nursing home for alleged repeated financial fraud and resident neglect. The nursing home allegedly “failed its residents and denied them the basic right of receiving comfortable, competent, and respectful care at the facility they entrusted to serve them,” according to Attorney General Leticia James. Allegedly, the nursing home received $105.8 million from Medicare and less than half of those funds went toward resident care. The rest of the money allegedly went toward inflated rent payments and fraudulent salaries paid to the owner’s eight adult children.
The lawsuit further alleges that residents suffered from abuse and neglect. Staff members allegedly illegally restrained residents by tying them to their wheelchairs and drugging them. Residents allegedly missed doses of their medication and did not receive appropriate medical attention, which in some cases allegedly resulted in preventable death.
What is the Average Settlement for a Wrongful Nursing Home Death?
The average settlement for nursing home death is approximately $400,000. Every case is different, and many cases settle for millions of dollars.
Largest Nursing Home Settlement Cases
Some of the largest nursing home settlement cases involve the False Claims Act and allegations that a nursing home over-billed Medicare for substandard care.
- According to an $11.2 million settlement from May of 2021, skilled nursing facilities in Georgia billed Medicare for services “that were not reasonable, necessary, or skilled.” Certain facilities allegedly “failed to follow appropriate pressure ulcer protocols and appropriate fall protocols and failed to appropriately administer medications to some of the residents.”
- In Concord, California, a nursing home agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle a suit alleging that the facilities had billed Medicare for grossly substandard care. Patients at the home allegedly “were overmedicated patients with psychotropic drugs, suffered excessive falls, were exposed to resident-on-resident altercations, and experienced other mental and physical harm.”
Nursing Home Neglect Settlement Cases
After an elderly woman died from an infected bedsore, a Pulaski County Circuit Court judge in Arkansas awarded the woman’s family $15.7 million. Bedsores are pressure ulcers that form when an elderly person has been left in one position for too long. If left untreated, these types of sores can get infected and lead to fatal sepsis. Elderly nursing home residents who may suffer from bedsores rely on nursing home staff to regularly move them to prevent the sores from forming.
The award covered $10 million in punitive damages, $206,000 in medical expenses, $1.5 million for the victim’s pain and suffering, $1.5 million for her mental anguish, and $1.5 million for her loss of life.
Nursing Home Covid Settlements
In a recent settlement, a judge awarded $53 million to 119 veterans’ families. The families alleged gross negligence in two state-run nursing homes that led to wrongful deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2020 pandemic resulted in a spike in wrongful death nursing home lawsuits. Quarantines kept family members separate from their loved ones, which sometimes allowed especially bad cases of elder abuse to go unchecked. Certain cases claimed that nursing homes did not do enough to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to elderly residents. Others claimed that overburdened staff failed to provide basic medical care to nursing home residents, leading to unnecessary pain and suffering. One suit alleges that a nursing home accepted Covid-19 positive patients even though officials knew that the facilities did not have adequate quarantining measures in place.
Nursing Home Wrongful Death Attorneys
Speak to a nursing home wrongful death attorney to confirm whether you have a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit depends on your state – generally, the suit must be filed within a few years of the victim’s death. Do not hesitate to start exploring your legal options if your loved one died following a preventable accident, abuse, or neglect.