Another smoking-related incident has claimed the life of a resident at an assisted living facility in Ft. Myers, FL. According reports in The News-Press, the 79-year-old resident fell asleep while smoking resulting in his clothes getting lit on fire and causing serious second and third degree burns. The man was airlifted to a regional medical center where he succumbed to his burns a week following the incident.
Police conducted an investigation into the incidnet and ruled the man’s death to be accidental.
Thoughts from a lawyer who prosecutes assisted living facility injuries:
Having represented a number of nursing home and assisted living patients who suffered serious burns in smoking incidents, I know that these cases tend to be more complicated than they would initially appear in terms of who– if anyone is indeed responsible for these horrific injuries.
In terms of evaluating these cases from a liability perspective, I tend to look at the following:
- Where and how the smoking incident occurred
- The physical and psychological capacities of the individual involved
- Any prior smoking related incidents involving the individual
- The facilities smoking policy and protocol
After looking at the above factors and consulting with an expert in the field of nursing home or assisted living care, we may then file a lawsuit against the facility for their negligence. Unfortunately, given the significance of the injuries sustained in smoking accidents, the matter is usually filed by the residents family in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit against the respective facility. Such lawsuits allow the family to recover both tangible and intangible benefits that their loved one bestowed upon them.