An alleged medication error and other neglect led to the death of a nursing home resident, according to a lawsuit filed by the family. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the facility’s appeal of a judgment entered by a jury against the home, stating in its opinion that the organization was guilty of a “chaotic environment” that led to a probability of potential harm for patients.
The victim was a six-year resident of the facility and was 80 years old at the time of her death. She was discovered to be unresponsive after allegedly being given anti-diabetes medication that caused a serious drop in blood sugar. She had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and other ailments and had suffered a stroke before being admitted to the facility. The lawsuit claimed that her quality of life was seriously diminished after the incident.
Former employees testified on behalf of the family as to the dangerous and fraudulent practices exercised at the facility. The facility had previous investigations into falls that occurred, although corrective measures had allegedly been taken to prevent further injuries. The court upheld the verdict but reduced the punitive damages from $1.25 million to $800,000.
Medication errors are relatively common in hospitals and nursing homes and can result in serious injury or wrongful death to patients. Family members who have lost loved ones or victims who have been injured may be entitled to compensation from the facilities if they can show that the medication error caused the injury or death. A personal injury lawyer can investigate these claims and advise the family on their right to collect damages.
Source: Seattle Pi, “Court rejects Ohio nursing home’s appeal in death,” Amanda Lee Myers, Dec. 19, 2012