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Family and nursing home settle bedsores case

New Jersey families who entrust nursing homes to care for their elderly relatives expect that the nursing home staff will be attentive to the patient and give them proper care.

Unfortunately, in the case of one nursing home in another state, a pattern of nursing home neglect emerged. The nursing home almost lost its license over the allegations against it but somehow managed to stay in operation after an administrative appeal. Since 2001, the nursing time faced at least 25 separate lawsuits and at least 15 significant administrative complaints.

One of these lawsuits recently settled. In that case, the family complained that an elderly relative in the home developed severe bedsores while at the home, perhaps because the nursing home staff did not turn her regularly. The family alleged the bedsores were so bad that they caused additional medical conditions and ultimately contributed to their relative's death. The family said that at least one relative visited the ailing patient daily.

Under the terms of the settlement, the woman's family members will receive $575,000. The nursing home apparently denies actual fault, claiming that the settlement merely was to cut down on legal costs and to put the matter to rest.

When commenting on the settlement, the plaintiff's attorney noted that in his experience, when nursing homes face frequent allegations of negligence, it is because they are either short-staffed or because the staff does not have adequate training.

The home, which has been under new management since 2011, claims that it has increased staff training significantly and has also heightened the presence of physicians at the home.

Source: The Patch, "Family settles bed sore lawsuit against troubled nursing home," Lorraine Swanson, Jan. 15, 2013

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