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Cleveland Personal Injury Law Blog

Are those bruises on your mother a sign of nursing home abuse?

Imagine this: You go to visit your mother at the nursing home and find her arms covered with bruises. She shrugs off your questions and doesn't seem to have an explanation for the marks. You ask the nurse on duty about them and are told, "That happens to old people. Their skin is just so thin."

Well, maybe. The nurse does have a point. Older people do tend to bruise easily -- and they heal more slowly than the young. Common medications, especially blood thinners, can also make vivid bruises appear very easily. So can certain medical conditions.

Audit: elder care complaints not being properly investigated

Ohio residents who have a loved one in a nursing home should know that elder abuse and neglect are always possible no matter how highly rated a facility is. Not only that, but the reports of such abuse and neglect often go for months without a formal investigation.

An auditor looked at 200 of the worst complaints that had been filed with the Massachusetts public health department and found that only a quarter were investigated within the mandated 10-day period. On average, the complaints were investigated 40 days after being filed. Many of the claims involved unsanitary conditions, the financial manipulation of residents and neglect to the point that bed-ridden patients developed sores.

Car crashes into Ohio gym, lands in pool

Sure, you know when you're on the road that you're always taking a chance you'll end up in a car accident -- but what about when you're trying to take a swim at the local gym?

That's what happened to several shocked patrons of a Centerville gym after a driver accidentally drove his car straight through the wall of an LA Fitness club. The car landed in the club's pool, but only one swimmer and the car's driver suffered any injuries -- and those were minor compared to what could have happened.

Don't let a loved one's wrongful death go unchallenged

Losing a loved one is always painful. However, that pain can be magnified immensely when the death was due to an unnecessary act of violence.

You should never let the wrongful death of a loved one go unchallenged -- no matter who caused the death or what the circumstances were.

Charges filed in nursing home deaths

When people in Ohio find themselves unable to care for their elderly loved ones, they may turn to a nursing home or other care facility for assistance. The costs associated with elder care can be substantial, but paying high fees does not always protect elder residents from neglect and abuse. One Florida case that emerged amid the devastation of Hurricane Irma drew attention to the mistreatment of older people held in nursing homes. In 2017, 12 patients at one home died in the heat after the hurricane disabled the air conditioning at the home. Now, four people are facing charges of aggravated manslaughter in the case.

Following a two-year investigation, one nursing home administrator and three nurses were charged by local police. Police say that they collected over 1,000 pieces of evidence at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills in addition to interviewing 500 people and seizing 55 computers containing facility documents and information. The nursing home patients began dying three days after the hurricane hit the facility. There were approximately 150 people housed there during the storm. Despite the sweltering heat and rising temperatures, workers at the facility failed to evacuate any residents. They were forced to remain despite the presence of a fully operational hospital directly across the street.

What contributes to rollover accidents?

A rollover accident can be absolutely deadly -- no matter what type of vehicle you are in. Trauma is literally inflicted from all sides until the vehicle comes to a final stop. The more the vehicle rolls, the greater the likelihood of serious injury or death to the occupants.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollovers are seldom the result of just one thing. Instead, they're caused by a complex set of issues that, unfortunately, converge all at once.

Welcome to dog-bite season!

Just about the time that the leaves start to turn, and the warm scent of pumpkin spice fills the air everywhere you go, insurance companies report an increase in dog bite claims.

Ohio ranks third in the nation for such claims -- which cost at least one insurance company $123 million in 2018 alone over 3,280 dog bites. Of course, that figure pales in comparison to the estimated $1.1 billion that particular insurer paid out over the last decade.

Hotel Legionnaires' disease outbreak kills 1, leaves dozens sick

Ohio residents who travel may be interested to learn that a lawsuit was filed on Aug. 12 against an Atlanta hotel after one guest died and potentially dozens of others became sick due to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak. According to reports, the outbreak may have affected those who stayed at the downtown Atlanta hotel between June 22 and July 15.

Legionnaires' disease is a lung infection caused by a bacteria called Legionella. These bacteria are found naturally occurring in freshwater lakes and streams. When the bacteria grows and spreads through the water systems, it can be ingested by people, resulting in fevers, coughs, shortness of breath and chills.

Hypoxia injuries can be a sign of nursing home neglect

Nursing homes often try to cut as many costs as they can -- often at the expense of the patients they're supposed to protecting.

In particular, nursing homes will often skimp on staff as much as possible during the night -- putting as few nurses and aides on staff as they can legally get away with having. From the nursing home's perspective, the evening is the perfect time to reduce staff hours. After all, most of the patients are in their beds, asleep.

Chemical restraints are a form of nursing home abuse

Watching your parent or loved one decline was difficult, and you had to make a difficult decision. Like many other people in Ohio, you came to the conclusion that an excellent nursing home would be the right place for your parent to live. You never thought that you would be dealing with allegations of nursing home abuse in the future.

The elderly and medically fragile population are among some of the most vulnerable groups. These individuals require constant and specialized medical care and should not be given unnecessary treatments or left alone for extended periods of time. Many nursing homes are doing the exact opposite.

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