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Lawsuit accuses nursing home, others of medical malpractice

Families in New Jersey can often become complicated. Even family members who have little interaction with one another still have concerns about each other's safety and overall well-being. Unfortunately, a recent medical malpractice lawsuit filed by three children in another state against a nursing home facility, hospital, doctor and physician's assistance raises some alarming claims about the treatment one patient allegedly received leading up to her death.

The lawsuit makes several different accusations. First, the three children claim that the nursing home facility allowed their mother to complete important paperwork, including a do not resuscitate order and naming a person to make medical decisions on her behalf, even though they knew she was not mentally competent to make such decisions. A representative for the family claims that the woman had been transferred to the nursing home facility from a state mental hospital after she had been involuntarily committed. Her medical records indicated that she had a history of mental illness, including depression and bipolar disorder.

The children also allege that negligence on behalf of the nursing home led to the woman's death. According to the lawsuit, she developed bed sores while in the nursing home's care that so compromised her immune system that she developed pneumonia. She was then transferred to the hospital, also named in the lawsuit, which refused to put the woman on a ventilator because of the DNR order. The woman, subsequently, passed away. The lawsuit claims that the hospital should have requested court intervention after family members questioned whether the DNR order was valid.

The nursing home claims that they could not have prevented the bed sores. A representative for the facility further argues that the woman was not cooperative with treatment plans. Additionally, it claims that the DNR order was valid and properly witnessed. Court papers indicate that the woman had been estranged from her children.

Nursing home and other medical care facilities have an obligation to ensure that their patients receive the best possible care. Unfortunately, some patients fall victim to medical malpractice, which can have devastating consequences. There is, however, a path to justice for those who believe their loved one suffered as a result of negligence. Just as this family has done, many in New Jersey choose to pursue these claims in civil court.

Source: blog.cvn.com, "$10M Nursing Home Malpractice Trial Begins Over Bedsore Treatment, Validity of Mentally Ill Woman's DNR Order", David Siegel, Dec. 11, 2016

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