Nursing Home Abuse

Elderly woman with black eye


When family members are no longer able to care for their loved ones, they resort to a nursing homes. The decision to place a family member or loved one in a nursing home is a difficult one. Members of our community make up the juries that hear these cases and research has shown that juries have a distain for nursing home abuse and neglect of their residents.  Juries have shown a willingness to return sizable awards in negligence and wrongful death actions brought against nursing homes.  Remember, jurors too have parents or grandparents who, by simple fate, may have to spend the last few years of life confined to a nursing home.  Who would want their parents or grandparents to be abused or neglected in such a facility?  The answer is simply, “no one”.  In order to protect these vulnerable members of our society, the Gladish Law Group aggressively pursues these cases which requires extensive review of medical records from both the nursing home in question and other healthcare providers.  Nursing homes owe a duty of care to their residents.  This duty is to exercise reasonable care for their protection. In addition, because nursing homes are aware of the disabilities and infirmities which rendered certain residents unable to care for themselves, nursing homes have a duty analogous to that of a common carrier to provide protection and care.  This “extraordinary standard of care” requires a greater degree of attention and care for a disabled resident than the usual standard of reasonable care.  Often times, expert medical testimony is required to prove how the nursing home breached the standard of care it owed to their resident.  These experts are also required to opine as to how these breaches resulted in the injuries and damages to the resident.

Further, nursing home contracts may require arbitration of abuse claims. The Indiana Courts have found that, “a written agreement to submit to arbitration is valid, and enforceable, an existing controversy or a controversy thereafter arising is valid and enforceable, except upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” See Ind. Code § 34–57–2–1(a).  An arbitration agreement establishes the forum for future disputes; both parties are bound to it and both parties receive whatever benefits and detriments accompany the arbitral forum.  Thus, it is important that you have an attorney review the contract signed relating to the care and treatment of the resident of the nursing home, since there may be clauses in the contract that will impact how the litigation will proceed.