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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by the Estate of a Mentally Retarded Elderly Man

The parent company of Brightmoor Nursing Center in North Carolina is being sued for the wrongful death of a patient of nine years. The administrator for the estate of the 73-year-old man claims in the suit that Brightmoor employees were negligent in the death of her uncle in 2009. She alleges that the man died two days after he was dropped in the shower by a certified nursing assistant. The defendant denies the allegations.

The man was taken to an area hospital with a hip fracture at which time the hospital staff discovered he had a massive urinary tract infection not identified at the nursing home.

The man suffered from mental retardation and was wheelchair bound; he was assessed as being a fall risk when he was first entered the nursing home in 2000. His bed was to be set on the lowest level at all times, a shower chair was to be used and a gait belt for moving him. The suit alleges that not all necessary precautions were in place at the time of the man’s death and there was not adequate staffing or employee training.

When placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home, it is expected that the resident will receive quality care. Unfortunately, negligence and abuse in this setting are all too common. Nursing home neglect and abuse can be physical, mental, or emotional. Often, the abuse or neglect continues undetected because not all elderly or infirm persons are able to easily communicate. Also, some have medical conditions that make them especially vulnerable to slip and falls accidents, broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, hip fractures, and other injuries.

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