I continually see devastating smoking-related injuries involving nursing home patients who accidentally burn themselves while smoking. While some of these incidents are indeed related to residents’ carelessness, many smoking incidents relate back to the fact that the nursing home failed to do their job in providing patients with a safe— and supervised smoking area.
Currently, authorities are investigating a smoking-related injury to a resident and staff member at White Oak Manor Nursing Home (Charlotte, North Carolina).
Though the details of the incident remain a bit uncertain at this time, it is believed that a fire ensued after a patient dropped a lit cigarette while falling asleep.
While fire investigators continue to look for answers, it is being reported that the nursing home patient suffered “life threatening injuries”.
Having prosecuting numerous smoking-related injury cases involving nursing home patients, I tend to see an overwhelming number of injuries that derive from a lack of enforcement of smoking policies and residents smoking unsupervised. In cases such as these, an injured patient may be able to pursue a negligence claim against the facility for injuries stemming from the incident.
As authorities sort through the circumstances surrounding this incident, I wish this patient the best in what is obviously a difficult recovery.
For laws related to North Carolina nursing homes, look here.
Two injured in nursing home fire in southeast Charlotte, by Ian Flanegan WBTV.com February 14, 2011