Miami Valley Law Blog

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Holding Nursing Homes Liable for Wandering Residents’ Deaths

Q: Can I sue a nursing home for my loved one’s death?

In Ohio, estate planning attorneys help people plan not only how to dispose of their property after they have died, but also how to handle their end-of-life healthcare decisions and plan for the possibility of needing long term care--possibly in a nursing home.

Occasionally, Ohio wrongful death attorneys are reminded that no matter how solid the planning might have been, there is no controlling the standard of individualized care—or lack of it--that a nursing home or assisted living resident might receive when at the mercy of such caregivers.

Recently, on a winter night when freezing temperatures were near zero degrees, an elderly nursing home resident "with dementia and a history of wandering off” was reportedly found dead from hypothermia in the nursing home’s outdoor courtyard about eight hours after she went missing.

According to an investigation, the resident allegedly had escaped from her room several times earlier that day and also escaped from the building two times in the prior week. Reportedly, she was wearing a monitor with sensors that should have set off an alarm, however “the alarm sensors when tested, did not always work” – – a fact staff members allegedly admitted to knowing.

When a person dies as the result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of another person or entity, or as a result of a dangerous or defective product, the closest surviving relatives of the victim may be entitled to compensatory damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. Sometimes liability for the death can be attributed to more than one source.

Wrongful death actions are complicated, and the time within which they must be commenced is limited, so contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible is the best way to preserve your rights and increase your chances of recovery.

Wrongful death damages vary depending on the survivor’s relationship to the victim and other factors, but may include the victim’s final medical and burial expenses, in addition to any loss of salary, benefits, pain and suffering, companionship and more.

If a loved one has been killed due to the actions or inactions of some other person, institution, or even a dangerous or defective product, the attorneys at Cox Keller Lusardi can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. We can't bring your loved one back, but taking legal action may reduce the financial burden of your loss. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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