South Carolina – June 28, 2021

Resident rights.

The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 outlines residential rights to protect the over one million elder Americans living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. A nursing home facility can be held liable for any personal injury, or neglect that causes harm, exacerbates health conditions, or results in an untimely death of a resident. Legal action may be taken against a nursing home based on acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions, or place residents in danger.

Neglect.

Neglect means the failure of a caregiver to provide care, goods, or services necessary to maintain the health and safety of a resident by providing nourishment, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, or medical services.

Staffing agencies.

The  negative impacts of COVID-19 linger among nursing home facilities across the United States.  In the past, nursing homes and assisted living facilities limited the use of temporary agencies due to costs, and negative impacts to building relationships with residents that are often crucial  to their health and well-being in their living community.  Family confidence in their loved ones’ caregivers is paramount to maintaining a solid standard of care and trust.  After losing a number of employees to lingering pandemic-related burnout, facilities have had to depend on staffing agencies to fill shifts.

Screening of revolving workers.

Dangers of temporary workers are increased when sexual predators are not adequately screened. The care of an elderly resident is often an intimate task and improperly screened workers may endanger residents with some type of criminal assault if a long term care facility does not take the time necessary to run comprehensive background checks on temporary workers who will come into contact with a resident.  Individuals who are concerned that their loved ones were abused, or neglected by a staffing agency caregiver should contact a nursing home attorney in South Carolina and share their concerns.

Standard of care.

The nursing home facility can be held liable for any personal injury, or neglect causing harm to a resident in their care.  Continuity of care is a precept of nursing home treatment. This negligence may have occurred by their part through:

  1. negligent hiring,
  2. understaffing,
  3. breach of regulatory obligations to guidelines,
  4. insufficient employee training, and
  5. errors in treatment, or medication dispensing.

Vicarious liability.

Vicariously liability is a legal doctrine assigning liability for the injury to a person, even if they did not cause the injury directly, but had a legal relationship with the negligent person who caused the injury.  Talk to a nursing home abuse attorney about the impacts of temporary personnel caring for a loved one in a South Carolina nursing home and how any injury, or neglect may be fall back onto the facility to recover damages.

Statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for personal injury, or  wrongful death claims in South Carolina  is three years from the date of the occurrence. Industry groups such as the American Health Care Association (AHCA) have emphasized that nursing homes face “a legitimate crisis.”  Between the decrease in occupancy and the changes to staffing, residents should be very aware of their rights and watch for signs of abuse, or negligence.

Hire a lawyer.

When sub-standard care results in harm to a resident, or outright abuse occurs, consultation with an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Offices should be the next action to seek guidance for remedies to the individual situation.

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000

Sources.

 

 

https://www.congress.gov/bill/100th-congress/house-bill/3545/titles

https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/Regulations/R.61-17.pdf

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/About/howcannhchelp.html

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html

 

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