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Guilty plea could support medical malpractice claim

Elderly residents of nursing homes in New Jersey and across the country often require specialized care. Because of their physical conditions, some employees hired to provide care for these residents could become stressed or frustrated, making it necessary for nursing homes to ensure that all employees are properly supervised and suited for the position for which they have been hired. Unfortunately, an out-of-state woman was recently the victim of abuse at the hands of an employee of the nursing home where she lived. The family could choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit as a result of the woman's treatment.

The victim of the abuse was a 94-year-old woman, a resident of Brookdale Senior Living Solutions. Family members reportedly noticed that the woman was suffering from unexplained injuries. As a result, they set up a camera in her room.

Unfortunately, they reportedly witnessed her being abused on the live feed. After contacting police and notifying them of the abuse, a certified nursing assistant was arrested. Although he was originally charged with a felony, he recently pleaded guilty guilty to a reduced charge. He was sentenced to four months in jail in addition to 12 months of probation.

While the criminal charges may provide some sense of relief for the victim and her family, it may not be sufficient to force the nursing home to make changes to prevent similar harm to other residents. As a result, victims of such abuse in New Jersey often choose to pursue damages by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in a civil lawsuit. Not only could a successfully presented lawsuit result in an award of damages, but it could also prompt nursing home officials to review the policies regarding employee oversight, potentially preventing similar abuse in the future.

Source: wjhl.com, "Man pleads guilty to reduced charge in Bristol, Va. elder abuse case", May 25, 2017

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