After two hours of deliberations a Kentucky jury has awarded a former nursing home patient more than $1 million in damages for injuries she sustained while a patient at the facility. The nursing home negligence lawsuit alleged that Cambridge Place Nursing Home in Lexington, KY was negligent in looking after an Alzheimer’s patient who managed to gain access to an equipment storage room without the knowledge of staff at the facility.
Ultimately, the woman sustained multiple injuries as a result of a fall she sustained in the restricted area including: broken facial bones, bleeding in her brain and multiple cuts on her face that required hospitalization.
Interestingly, the incident was investigated by a state adult-protection worker who determined that the woman’s fall deserved to be evaluated for possible sanctions against the facility considering the severity of her injuries and the fact that she was a victim of caretaker neglect whom had been exposed to an extreme safety risk. Yet, the Kentucky Attorney General declined to prosecute the matter as the injuries were deemed accidental.
Given the size of this verdict, I guess that the people sitting on this jury sided with the opinion from the adult protection worker?
The timeliness of an investigation by regulatory agencies can prove to be pivotal in determining both how an incident occurred and the role the facility may have played. Unlike families or attorneys hired by families— state regulatory workers— and even law enforcement personnel have the ability to investigate the circumstances following the discovery of a concerning situation. The investigations can provide families with the answers they frequently seek concerning how and why an incident occurred.
Additionally, should the family choose to pursue the case civilly, the investigation can be extremely helpful in prosecuting the case because many of the details contained in the investigative report can be used to establish liability and damages. As a nursing home lawyer, I always suggest that families contact the department of health within their state or similar regulatory agency as soon as feasible following an incident so a thorough investigation can be done while the event may be fresh in the minds of witnesses and staff.
For laws related to Kentucky nursing homes, look here.
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