The stereotype of nursing home neglect is of nursing home staff doing less than the required minimum to care for patients who reside in the nursing home. For example, if a patient suffers pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, because nursing home staff left him in the same position for too long, it could be considered nursing home abuse. If a nurse at an overstaffed nursing home does not change her gloves between giving IVs to patients, and one or more patients contract an infection, the nursing home could also face a nursing home abuse lawsuit. In other words, nursing home abuse lawsuits are often about nursing homes promising to care for patients and then failing to do so. A case currently being heard in California courts shows a different side of nursing home abuse. In this case, the nursing home unjustly evicted a patient who had been residing there.
Details of the Pioneer House Lawsuit
Gloria Single and her husband were both residents of Pioneer House in California. In March 2017, the staff of Pioneer House sent Mrs. Single to the hospital for a psychological evaluation, claiming that she had suddenly begun behaving aggressively. Nursing homes are supposed to notify patients’ families before sending a patient to the hospital, but Pioneer House did not notify Mrs. Single’s family. At the hospital, Mrs. Single underwent a psychological examination and was released from the hospital without being admitted. When she returned to Pioneer House that same day, the nursing home refused to accept her.
With nowhere else to go, Mrs. Single returned to the hospital, where she remained hospitalized for three months. Away from her husband and without nursing home services to keep her active, she suffered a decline in physical and mental health. By the time another nursing home accepted her, she needed a wheelchair and was unable to speak, whereas she had been able to walk and talk when she left Pioneer House.
Where Pioneer House Went Wrong
According to the plaintiff’s attorneys, Pioneer House breached its duty of care to Mrs. Single in the following ways:
- Nursing homes must notify a patient’s family when sending the patient to a hospital. Pioneer House did not notify Mrs. Single’s family.
- Nursing homes cannot evict a patient without advance warning. Mrs. Single’s eviction from Pioneer House, both in being sent to the hospital and in being refused re-entry to Pioneer House, came as a surprise.
- Nursing homes must reserve the nursing home patient’s bed when the patient is hospitalized for seven days or fewer. Mrs. Single spent a much shorter time at the hospital.
When she arrived at the new nursing home, Mrs. Single’s health was much worse than it had been when she left Pioneer House. The attorneys argue that Pioneer House’s refusal to provide her with the care and activities that had been keeping her healthy was the cause of her decline.
Contact Case Barnett About Nursing Home Abuse Cases
If your relative has been evicted from a nursing home, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California to discuss your case.