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Medical malpractice: Woman, daughter claim abuse at nursing home

Many families in New Jersey make the difficult decision to place their loved ones in a nursing home facility, entrusting that staff at the facility will ensure that their family member receives appropriate care. Unfortunately, instances of medical malpractice and abuse can often be difficult to recognize for those untrained to notice symptoms, especially when the victims are unable to speak for themselves.  A recent lawsuit claims that one woman was informed about the alleged abuse of her mother when an anonymous staff member advised her to check on her.

The lawsuit, which seeks $17 million in damages, makes several claims against the nursing home facility. It alleges that the 84-year-old woman, who relies on staff for her basic needs, was tied to a wheelchair and injected with a narcotic to keep her quiet. It is claimed the was left in her chair all night. When another nurse wanted to remove her from the chair and clean her after she soiled herself, one of the nurse's involved in the alleged incident --  a supervisor -- allegedly told her to let the victim "sit in it." The woman's daughter claims she received an anonymous phone call about the incident.

After the daughter contacted the facility with her concerns, she was informed an investigation was conducted and that the claims were found to be false. However, the lawsuit alleges that the goal of the investigation was to minimize negative publicity rather than to seek the truth regarding the allegations. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the nursing home fired staff who attempted to report the abuse. Officials at the facility claim certain staff members were terminated after they "illegally" shared allegations about the incident on social media.

Although the mother has been moved to a different facility, the lawsuit claims that she continues to suffer emotionally as a result of the incident. Unfortunately, those who live in facilities such as this are often unable to seek help following instances of abuse and medical malpractice. When such incidents occur in New Jersey, it is often necessary to pursue legal action in order to protect other residents from similar abuse.

Source: pilotonline.com, "Lawsuit alleges nurses tied 84-year-old and injected a narcotic sedative at Chesapeake nursing home", Margaret Matray, Jan. 13, 2017

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