Nursing homes in Pennsylvania are naturally expected to properly meet the needs of the individuals placed under their care. However, nursing facility staff are sometimes negligent, and this negligence may end up causing harm to a patient. There are certain cases where a nursing home may be sued for nursing home neglect.
Numerous types of incidents can leave a facility legally responsible, including accidents, intentional and willful acts of neglect or abuse and/or failure of staff to take appropriate action. The legal responsibility may be based on an employee's conduct or on a particular ongoing practice, policy or procedure at the nursing home. One example is if the nursing home fails to keep the facility's premises reasonably free of any hazards; this includes preventing a slip-and-fall accident or even preventing a nursing home resident from attacking another resident.
A nursing facility may also be held liable if it negligently hired, trained or supervised an employee who later neglects, abuses or intentionally harms a patient. This includes not correctly screening possible employees may have a record of committing criminal acts at other facilities, which can include stealing from residents or committing sexual acts upon residents. A home may additionally be held liable if it does not properly supervise residents who are at risk of falling and getting injured.
Nursing homes also have a duty to maintain adequate safety and health policies, including those on maintaining sanitary conditions in the residents' rooms, and homes are expected to provide sufficient medical treatment. A nursing home neglect case can be successfully litigated in Pennsylvania if liability is established through competent proof that is accepted by a civil court. Financial damages achieved from this type of suit may help to cover expenses tied to the case, such as medical costs and pain and suffering resulting from the negligence.
Source: myvalleynews.com, "When Should You Consider Suing a Nursing Home?", Dec. 29, 2015