Nursing home abuse is, unfortunately, becoming more of a problem. Residents in Tennessee who have family members in nursing homes may be interested in an investigation that is underway in another state. The investigation was launched after the death of a patient that may have been caused by nursing home abuse.
A patient was strapped in her wheelchair when her dead body was discovered at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Her sisters say that they realized that she was possibly the victim of physical abuse when they observed numerous injuries prior to her death. They had visited her on a weekly basis, and, during one of those visits, nurses were observed letting go of her wheelchair and allowing it to travel down the hall on its own with the patient sitting in it.
Another time, the sisters noticed that she had a black eye and were informed that it was a result of her falling when being transferred to her wheelchair from her bed. One of the sisters called the abuse hotline on numerous occasions in regard to her suspicion of patient abuse. The nursing home has a track record of complaints, including inappropriate handling of medication, failing to prevent patients from wandering away from the nursing home and failure to make incident reports, among many others.
The investigation into this matter continues, and, if it is found that this is a case of wrongful death, the family may pursue legal action. Families retain the right to file wrongful death claims against facilities suspected of nursing home negligence and nursing home abuse. If claims are successfully navigated, families could be awarded damages in amounts deemed appropriate by Tennessee civil courts.