To many times, violence happens to the people who deserve it the least. Nursing home residents suffer an astonishingly high level of abuse in several different forms: physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and financial to name a few.
Who abuses them? Normally, it is the people closest to them including other residents, nursing home staff, or various third parties.
To show you the problem of nursing home abuse in more detail, we listed some summaries of typical New Mexico verdicts and settlements below:
$150,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
Bernalillo County, New Mexico nursing home abuse case.
This cause of action initiated after a female nursing home resident in her early eighties was sexually assaulted in Bernalillo County. Tragically, other residents at the facility even witnessed the incident taking place but didn’t do anything about it and nobody called the cops or staff until almost eight hours had gone by. Once they did, though, the damage had already been done.
The aggressor was someone actually employed by the nursing home. The woman filed a lawsuit against the nursing facility as well as against the employee who victimized her. She sought damages for the trauma, pain, and expenses that resulted from the whole ordeal.
The defendant home denied that it was responsible because, according to its reply, the employee acted outside the scope of his employment. However, documents were introduced showing that the employee had committed similar acts of abuse before and that the home had not conducted a proper screening to identify them before he was hired.
Thus, as you might imagine, settlement was not far off in the future and she received $150,000 which can be best explained by the following points:
- The woman died not long after the suit commenced from unrelated causes; therefore, she couldn’t make a claim of significant long-term pain or intangible harms.
- The lack of screening would have put a serious damper on the home’s ability to remove itself from the litigation.
- The fact that the employee had done this before would’ve increased the likelihood of her success at court.
$100,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Mexico nursing home abuse case.
This controversy was rather hard to discern because the facts, the who did what, was very much in dispute. What we know is that an eighty-one-year-old man received a broken bone and various scars. What we don’t know is who was responsible for them.
Apparently, he was having an altercation with another resident when a staff member of the nursing home tried to put him in his wheelchair and take him to his room. The resident claimed that this was done against his will. The defendant nursing home claimed that this was done at the request of the old man.
However, even the veracity of this was hard to determine because the plaintiff-resident was suffering from dementia. What could be determined though was that when employees tried to remove him, they put a strap over his arms so that he wouldn’t fall out of the wheelchair.
This strap was constricted so tightly that it injured him-giving him the scars and fractures mentioned earlier. He went to the doctors to receive treatment and was released back to the nursing home the following day. Just a few months after he filed his complaint, both parties settled for $100,000.
Here’s why they did:
- The nursing home wanted to avoid a lengthy trial and while they might’ve thought they were blameless, they still injured him. Thus, $100,000 might’ve looked better than an unpredictable jury.
- The plaintiff got over ten times his expenses and didn’t sustain any long-term effects.
$700,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Mexico nursing home abuse case.
This incident was between two residents in a New Mexico nursing home. A female resident accused a male resident of assaulting her and abusing her physically and verbally. The altercation arose when both of them were passing each other by en route to a facility event.
Well, things did not go smoothly. She said that he started yelling at her and when she told him to stop he attacked her. She suffered scratches on her face and an injury to her lower back. She needed to see a doctor and undergo multiple treatments in order to correct the injuries.
When she eventually sued, she brought an action against not only him but also the nursing home where the events took place. Against him, she alleged assault, battery, and various other claims. Against the facility, she alleged that it was negligent in supervision, hiring, training, and care.
She sought compensation from both of them. The defendant home shot back first and most forcefully. It argued that it could not be held liable for the intentional acts of residents. However, the matter proceeded swiftly to trial and it feared a sympathetic jury so it agreed to settle in the amount of $700,000.
Here are some pertinent points about this agreement:
- Both defendants split this amount almost evenly.
- The defendant home had no employees near the scene of this dispute and did not find the woman injured for nearly an hour.
- The woman sustained tens of thousands of dollars in damages, facial scarring, and disability due to the events of this case.
$500,000 NURSING HOME SETTLEMENT:
New Mexico nursing home abuse case.
This dispute arose between an elderly male resident and a nursing home employee. On one Sunday morning, as the staff member was trying to help him come to breakfast, the two got into an argument. This led to a slip and fall and broken hip.
The victim was the resident. He said that the employee strong-armed him and caused him to fall on the floor and get injured. The employee countered that the old man fell down all by himself. Whoever did it, the damage was clear and obvious. He broke his hip and required long-term rehab and pretty significant medication.
He filed a lawsuit against the employee and nursing home and alleged that they were both negligent in their care of him and were legally responsible for his injuries and damages. They both shot back that his comparative negligence should defeat his cause of action.
However, once the fact arose that the employee was involved in a similar incident with another resident, the defendants were willing to compromise. They gave the plaintiff $500,000 in settlement compensation.
Here is a glimpse into why:
- The man sustained costs nearly into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- This was pretty close to the average for injuries like this in nursing home lawsuits.
- The defendant must have presumed that the plaintiff could prove causation because of the worker’s past misconduct so they were looking to end the matter before trial.
NEW MEXICO NURSING HOME ABUSE CASE TAKEAWAYS
The stories of abuse and neglect in nursing homes would shock anyone. After you read all of the verdicts and settlements we summarized above, remember these key points so that you understand what is going on in these cases:
- It is important to move fast to investigate and collect what evidence you will need because nursing homes will try deny your case and things can disappear quickly.
- Collect the facility’s training, hiring, and supervisory procedures to show that whatever the employee did was within the nursing home’s scope of employment.
- Check the nursing home’s insurance policy to see if this incident would be covered under it.
WAS YOUR LOVED ONE ABUSED AT A NEW MEXICO NURSING HOME?
To many people are abused in New Mexico nursing homes. When they are, we stand up for them so that they get protected and the recovery they need to move on and get better. It’s not easy but they deserve it. Plus, we represent all of our clients at no upfront cost so that they can worry about their health and leave the law to us. We are experts in nursing home litigation and can help you. Call us today to find out what recovery is awaiting you.
If you would like to know more about nursing home law in New Mexico, please read the following pages:
NEW MEXICO NURSING HOME BED SORE CASES
NEW MEXICO NURSING HOME INADEQUATE CARE CASES
NEW MEXICO NURSING HOME MEDICAL ERROR CASES
NEW MEXICO NURSING HOME FALL CASES
To learn more about local facilities and attorneys who focus their practice on nursing home negligence in specific cities, view the links below.