Nursing homes may experience problems with the building and infrastructure that results in injuries or other forms of harm to patients. When this happens, it is possible to make the home pay for these problems with a civil lawsuit.
A Rockville nursing home needed to be evacuated because of a serious water leak that caused electrical problems.
Home is evacuated when water leak begins to affect electricity in the building
Emergency workers and Pepco responded after a call that the Raphael House nursing home was experiencing a water leak which was also affecting the electrical circuits. The location of the home was 1515 Dunster Road in Rockville. Starting at around 4 pm that day, twenty eight of the residents in the home had to be transported to a nearby church. Some of the elderly people who were evacuated needed special assistance to reach the destination due to disabilities and other health problems. Ambulances were on the scene to provide medical attention to anyone who was hurt in transit.
Regulatory schemes relevant to nursing homes
Nursing homes are routinely inspected by regulatory boards for things like the quality of healthcare they provide and building code violations. All facilities that provide health related services are regulated by the government, and failure to comply with these regulations can result in probationary status and other sanctions.
Consistent problems and violations from a home that has been warned or placed on probation can cause the facility to lose its Medicaid funding and license to operate. Unfortunately, many homes with significant problems are still allowed to take in new patients and function as normal until the situation becomes dire.
Is the home responsible for any injuries that happen during the evacuation?
Nursing homes often have all kinds of problems related to improper maintenance, lack of funding, shortage of staff, and neglect. These issues cannot be used by the home as a legal excuse or defense for putting their patients in danger. They still have a relevant standard of care that they must maintain, and a breach of that standard which causes injuries or illness can become a reason to file a civil lawsuit. This is especially true in situations like the news story above, where the water leak was probably caused by irregular or improper maintenance.
How does a lawsuit against a nursing home begin?
When someone is injured at a nursing home, the attorney for the plaintiff can draft a complaint that gives a brief statement of facts related to how the accident happened and the injuries it caused. They can also give a value of these injuries based on things like medical records, lost wages, and other problems caused by the incident. The defendant will get a chance to respond and either admit or deny the statements in the initial pleading. This is how most civil cases handled by personal injury lawyers start, and lawsuits against nursing homes will usually follow a similar format.
Get help from a lawyer in your area
There are attorneys ready to file a lawsuit against a nursing home on your behalf in the Rockville area of Maryland. For local help and advice specific related to your case, contact Barkley and Kennedy, Chartered.