The recent indictment of three employees of a Brownsville elder care center on “72 instances of criminal neglect” and exploitation of residents for more than a year underlines the urgent need to rein in nursing home abuse in Kentucky. Mary Virginia Lush, one of their victims, had “neck, back, arms and face injuries” after the trio made her “subject to physical and mental abuse causing injury, pain, suffering, extreme anguish and distress.”
A congressional report prepared by the House Government Reform Committee warns that residents in a third of US long-term care centers face the danger of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment. The Special Investigations Division, the nodal survey agency, discovered that at least 20 percent of nursing home ill-treatment allegations are “serious enough to cause actual harm to residents or to place the residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury.” The report cited numerous examples of how residents became subject to physical, sexual, and verbal abuse and suffer from malnutrition, unhygienic conditions, malnutrition, dehydration, death from bedsores, assaults, and preventable accident injuries.
All claims against long-term care centers that Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyers come across are broadly categorized under seven heads, such as
- physical abuse, ranging from use of excessive restraints to assaults
- negligence of staff and nursing home management in taking adequate care of residents
- medical neglect
- emotional exploitation or cruelty causing psychological trauma and distress
- sexual abuse
- financial exploitation and identify theft
- failure to prevent resident-to-resident abuse
How To Report Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse
- Check if a resident has any unusual physical or behavioral signs suggesting something wrong with the resident. It can be excessive fear, emotional withdrawal, unreceptive attitude of caregivers, or physical bruises on the body.
- Where To Report
- Kentucky Adult Protective Services (1-800-752-6200)
- Local police (911)
- Office of the Inspector General (502-564-7963)
- Office of the Attorney General (877-ABUSE-TIP or 877-228-7384)
After considering these steps. it is also recommended to provide oral and written information either anonymously or in your name. You should include the date, time, and a detailed description of the injuries to help authorities conduct a thorough investigation.
We also recommend you consult a Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss the possibility of a civil action and recovery of expenses. You can also seek additional compensation and punitive damages.
Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse: Legal Right of Resident, Families
The rights of the residents at a Kentucky nursing home are explicitly defined in the Revised Statutes 216. The long list includes a right to care, complaint against negligence, freedom from abuse and coercion, adequate medical treatment, and protection against financial fraud. It also assures residents of their right to privacy, to meet visitors or family members, and to be treated with respect. A resident cannot be detained or unreasonably restrained or forced to do anything against his will or in violation of his personal liberty.
A residents’ right to lead a safe and healthy life must be supported and encouraged by the nursing home management through adequate direct care, nutritional food, a positive environment, regular and proper medical care, and an accident-free ambience. Any violation of right empowers the resident or his family to file a Kentucky nursing home neglect lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Enacted in 1976, the Kentucky Protection of Adults Act provides the legal basis to act against a nursing home for abuse or neglect. Noncompliance to care standards is considered a criminal breach of trust, which can be a basis for filing civil actions demanding compensation for physical and emotional suffering.
Family members of those who subject to exploitation and negligence also have the right to file Kentucky nursing home abuse lawsuits on behalf of the victims. In 2012, a state court awarded the wife of a man, who died because of care center neglect, $1.5 million in compensation for loss of companionship in addition to $42 million compensatory and punitive damages covering all medical expenses and non-economic losses.