• Nursing Home Injury Lawyer: The Crisis of Understaffed Nursing Homes

    Posted on May 11th, 2020 admin No comments

    As nursing home injury lawyers in Cleveland, we get asked this a lot: Why is a nursing home injury so alarmingly common in the United States?

    The answer is simple: Understaffing.

    Nursing homes are often simply too understaffed to provide the quality of care required to keep residents safe and healthy.

    The Plain Dealer reports:

    “In 2015, 70 percent of Ohio nursing homes were staffed below what researchers say is necessary to provide safe, compassionate care. A Plain Dealer analysis of the most recent federal nursing home data also found that across the country, 62 percent of nursing homes were below that level.

    “For residents of the facilities, low staffing levels mean increased risk of falls, developing bedsores and urinary tract infections, and failure to obtain necessary treatment in emergencies, according to state records and published reports.”

    Holding Nursing Homes Accountable

    And the statistics are tragic for our loved ones. Nevertheless, nursing homes need to be held accountable. If your family has been injured due to nursing home negligence, contact us today for a free consultation with one of our Cleveland nursing home injury lawyers.

  • Cleveland Nursing Home Injury Attorney: Who Would Snapchat Elder Abuse?

    Posted on April 13th, 2020 admin No comments

    As a nursing home injury attorney in Cleveland may tell you, nursing homes can sometimes be quite blatant in their abuse of the elderly. But two nursing assistants in Glenview, Illinois took it over the line. They sent a Snapchat of their abuse of a 91-year old woman.

    After posting the video last December, certified nursing assistants Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa were arrested on misdemeanor charges.

    The victim was Margaret Collins, who suffers from dementia. She has a fear of hospital gowns. The arrested pair allegedly used that fear as fuel to taunt and terrorize her.

    CBS News reports:

    “In the video, Cortez allegedly waves a hospital gown at Collins as Montesa, his girlfriend and coworker, filmed. The caption reads, ‘Margaret hates gowns,’ with two laughing emojis.”

    Not All Abuse is Physical

    Though Collins was not physically assaulted, she was humiliated. Our elderly loved ones deserve our respect. If you feel you or your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact one of our nursing home injury attorneys in Cleveland for a free consultation.

  • Study Confirms Cleveland Nursing Home Injury Attorneys’ Suspicions: Abuse Underreported

    Posted on September 30th, 2019 admin No comments

    As nursing home injury attorneys in Cleveland, we realize that nursing home injury is actually a lot more common than most people think. Many cases go unreported. Sadly, this suspicion has been confirmed in two new government studies.

    Conducted and published by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the research found that in most cases of abuse or neglect severe enough to require medical attention, the incidents have not been reported to enforcement agencies — despite the fact that it’s the law.

    One study focused on nursing home residents who end up in nursing homes. Nearly one in five cases were not reported to police.

    “Some of the cases we saw, a person is treated in an emergency room [and] they’re sent back to the same facility where they were potentially abused and neglected,” Gloria Jarmon, deputy inspector general for audit services, told NPR.

    Elder Abuse Can Happen Anywhere

    And elder abuse can happen in multiple settings — not just nursing homes. A second study looked at medicare claims for the elderly regardless of where the incident took place. Nearly one- third of the incidents were not reported to law enforcement.

    That’s why it’s so important to work with a nursing home injury attorney in Cleveland. All too often these tragic incidents are merely swept under the rug and ignored.

  • Nursing Home Injury Attorney in Cleveland: Arizona Center Where Raped Woman Gave Birth to Remain Open

    Posted on July 9th, 2019 admin No comments

    In news that might surprise anybody who doesn’t happen to be a nursing home injury attorney in Cleveland, the Arizona facility where an incapacitated woman was raped and gave birth will continue to remain open.

     

    This story is all too familiar in this country. Indeed, nursing home abuse is such a harsh reality in this country because it’s so easy to sweep it under the rug.

    Under the Governor’s Orders

     

    Hacienda HealthCare was to be closed, the center’s board of directors decided, stating that it could not afford with Arizona officials demand to work with a third-party manager to oversee day-to-day operations — expected to cost $500,000 annually.

     

    “After a great deal of careful consideration,” the company “has come to understand that it is simply not sustainable to continue to operate our Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled,” Hacienda said in a statement, The New York Times reported.

    Health Department Will Monitor

    Arizona’s Gov. Doug Duce issued an executive order for the facility to remain open in the interest of the residents. As a compromise, the facility must accept 24 hour monitoring by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

     

    “Our agencies will continue to work with Hacienda to implement a voluntary regulatory agreement with strong oversight and accountability measures that ensure safety and quality care going forward for patients,” said spokesman Patrick Ptak in an email to local media.

     

    Hopefully, this will give the patients the safety and security they deserve. Nursing home abuse is far too rampant, a sad reality we face every day as nursing home injury attorneys in Cleveland.

  • Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Cleveland: Congress Hears Testimony of Family Members

    Posted on June 10th, 2019 admin No comments

    It’s a nightmare of an experience that a nursing home injury lawyer in Cleveland is all too familiar with.

     

    Maya Fischer remembers the evening, just before Christmas, when the nursing home called to inform that her mother had been the victim of rape.

     

    Fischer recently testified before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

     

    “My final memories of my mother’s life now include watching her bang uncontrollably on her private parts for days after the rape, with tears rolling down her eyes, apparently trying to tell me what had been done to her but unable to speak due to her disease,” Fischer said in the hearing, referring to her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease.

     

    Iowa Resident Patricia Blank also described how her mother died as a result of nursing home abuse – despite the fact that her facility had exceptionally high rankings.

    Shocking Statistics

     

    More than 1000 nursing homes have been cited for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of sex abuse, including rape and assault, at their facilities between 2013 and 2016, according to a CNN exclusive investigation.

     

    “I think there’s a gulf between the expectations and the reality in several of these instances and we look forward to working with you to bridge the gulf,” New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez stated at the hearing.

     

    Our nursing home injury lawyers in Cleveland couldn’t agree more. The most vulnerable citizens in society need to be protected. A basic sense of decency simply demands it.

  • Cleveland Nursing Home Injury Attorney: 3 Lessons Learned from the Vegetative Patient Who Gave Birth

    Posted on March 11th, 2019 admin No comments

    What can we learn from the tragic case of the nursing home resident in a vegetative state who gave birth? Our Cleveland nursing home injury attorney had a few thoughts.

    A Clean Record Does Not Guarantee Safety

    The 36-year-old suspect, Nathan Sutherland, who police say has DNA that matches the baby, had a clean background check, a spotless record, and a clear license to practice. And yet he is alleged to have raped the patient who he was charged to care for. It’s heinous and tragic, but a clean and spotless record for staff does not necessarily mean a patient is safe from assault.

    Health Checks are a Must

    Hospital staff did not even realize the patient was pregnant until she gave birth. How could this happen? The facility did not keep up with necessary healthcare checks. Even when a patient is in a comatose state, regular healthcare and checkups are important.

    Rape is Rape

    A woman in a vegetative state cannot consent. Yes, she was sexually assaulted, but more specifically she was raped. Tragically, sexual assault is all too prevalent in nursing facilities, often committed by the very people responsible for the care of our loved ones.

    Do you suspect mistreatment of your loved one? Call Linton Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation with one of our nursing home injury attorneys in Cleveland.

  • Cleveland Nursing Home Injury Lawyer: Lack of Adequate Staffing Increases Risk Injury

    Posted on August 7th, 2018 admin No comments

    One surprising reason nursing home injuries are so shockingly common is not incompetence or ill intent. In fact, one of the biggest reasons negligence has become so prevalent comes down to inadequate staffing. It is a tragic trend that nursing home injury lawyers in Cleveland understand all too well.

     

    The numbers are shocking and concerning. Of the nursing assistants who responded to a survey done by The Plain Dealer, 83 percent said facilities, where they worked, were always or frequently too short-staffed to meet residents’ needs. Nearly half of the 81 percent claimed to have worked back-to-back shifts at least once a week because of short staffing.

    A Dangerous Job

    One reason for the short staffing is a lack of adequate pay and lack of qualified applicants, especially in a strong economy where jobs with better pay and benefits are plentiful. The shortage is dangerous not only to residents but to the staff as well, which places further stress on the caretakers, making the job even less desirable and positions harder to fill, creating a vicious self-perpetuating cycle.

     

    “I’ve never worked as a lumberjack, and I’ve never worked in the mines, but [working as a nurse’s assistant] is absolutely one of the most dangerous jobs out there,” said Genevieve Gipson, the executive director of the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants, told the Plain Dealer. “I have yet to find anyone who works with patients in the long-term care industry who doesn’t have some form of an injury.”

     

     

  • Ask a Nursing Home Injury Attorney in Cleveland: Why is Ohio’s Care so Bad?

    Posted on June 2nd, 2017 admin No comments

    It’s a sobering yet logical conclusion for any nursing home injury attorney in Cleveland: Why do Ohio’s nursing homes rate among the lowest in the nation when it comes to quality care, as measured by federal statistics?

    Simple. There’s just not enough staff.

    “Almost always, we had to work short-handed, handling anywhere from 15 to 20 people at any given time,” former nurse’s aide Lolly wrote in a Cleveland Plain Dealer anonymous survey of the state’s caregivers. “It is impossible to give proper care to that many people, answer the call lights and be everywhere at the same time.”

    The Results? Tragic…

    Not having enough hands on deck can cause extremely dangerous accidents that easily result in tragedy. As one sad example, Susanne Lawrence, a resident of Normandy Manor in Rocky River, overdosed after being given 20 times the prescribed dosage of oxycodone, or 500 milligrams. Staff failed to read the medication’s label and the 83 year old died after her last dosage on July 7, 2015.

    Deadly Math

    The statistics and the extent of the crisis are shocking, even for a nursing home injury attorney in Cleveland who deals with them every day. After three months of research, the Plain Dealer discovered:

    • “Nearly 41 percent of the facilities in Ohio earned a below-average rating of one or two stars on the federal Nursing Home Compare standard, as of Dec. 1, compared to 35 percent nationally.
    • At least 31 Ohio nursing home deaths in the last three years were attributed by authorities to issues of care. Residents’ lawyers argue the number could be far higher, because they depend upon self-reporting by nursing homes.
    • Ohio’s minimum staffing rules are relatively lenient. Facilities in the state are required to make available 2.5 hours a day of nursing staff time for each resident. Florida and California require much more.
    • Ohio requires only 75 hours of training for the aides who provide much of the care in a nursing facility. California requires 150 hours.
    • Many states have given themselves the ability to fine nursing homes that violate “their standards. In places like California, state fines are used to strengthen nursing home inspections. Ohio doesn’t fine nursing homes. Instead, it recommends a dollar amount to the federal government, which sets and collects the fines. A portion of the fines is returned to the state.”

    If you have a loved one in a residential care facility in Ohio, talk to a lawyer to ensure they are getting the best care. If statistics are any indication, their quality of life, if not their very lives themselves, may be in your hands. Contact us for a free consultation.

  • A Win for a Cleveland Nursing Home Injury Attorney: Abuser Gets 18 Months

    Posted on April 28th, 2017 admin No comments

    Any dedicated nursing home injury attorney in Cleveland understands that feeling when their clients get the justice they deserve.

    Such is likely the feeling of the legal team of Edward McShaffrey’s victim. The 59-year old was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing a nursing home resident. A licensed practical nurse at Brookdale Montrose Nursing Home, he was seen with his mouth on the victim’s private body part. The victim suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and suffered from communication difficulties.

    The nursing home immediately fired McShaffrey following the incident. He had worked at the facility since 2004.

    “We appreciate the jury’s effort in seeking justice for this case. This situation saddens us deeply because having the trust our residents and their families is extremely important to us,” Heather Hunter, senior public relations assistant for the facility, told the Plain Dealer. “This type of conduct or behavior by an associate is never tolerated by us under any circumstances. Our thoughts are with the victim today.”

    Sadly, it is a story our nursing home injury attorneys in Cleveland see come across their desks every day. The victims, due to limited communication skills or cognitive abilities, have far too few resources to turn for help. They need a voice. That’s why the Linton Law Firm is here for you. Call us today for a free consultation.

  • Medical Records Suspicious? Talk to a Cleveland Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

    Posted on March 17th, 2017 admin No comments

    As any nursing home injury lawyer in Cleveland can tell you, a nursing home’s medical records can’t always be taken at face value. If the staff has something to hide, their documents may have been forged, altered or otherwise not true.

    In Chicago, two social workers claimed they were fired because they refused to falsify medical records related to incidents of nursing home patient abuse at the former Burnham Healthcare, now known as Bria of River Oaks.

    “There was no structure. It was dangerous,” one of the social workers, Kenneth Allen, told the Chicago Tribune.

    Documents Missing or Falsified?

    Allen alleges that when he documented a resident’s rape complaint, a supervisor ripped the report from the medical file and tore it up.

    Allen also claims he was told to falsify another patient’s medical report to look like she had fallen, when she very well may have been assaulted.

    State investigations, meanwhile, indicate that the facility indeed had committed several instances of abuse.

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    “A 2012 state inspection report said two residents alleged guards beat or roughed them up in separate incidents. The report says that at least one guard at the home was fired as a result.

    State inspectors have cited the facility for abuse-related incidents after Ogunyipe and Allen were terminated.”

    So if your family member references abuse or injuries not mentioned in their medical file, don’t just take the word of the facility. Talk to a Cleveland nursing home injury lawyer. There may be abuse which needs investigating.