South Carolina – February 5, 2021

Vicarious liability.

When abuse or neglect occurs in the nursing home setting, the facility can be held liable if any of the following played a part in causing harm to a resident or patient:

  • negligent hiring,
  • understaffing,
  • inadequate training,
  • breach of statutory or regulatory obligations, and
  • medication errors.

A long term residential facility, or nursing home is also “vicariously liable” for the bad acts of its employees, including most actions taken in the course and scope of the employee’s job responsibilities. Nursing homes often hire contractors and sometimes outsource various tasks to third parties. Those third parties may also be liable for abuse, or neglect of a resident. An example of this liability could involve dangers to a resident at the hands of another resident, or visitor at the nursing home.  An experienced nursing home attorney can be of assistance to residents and loved ones who have concerns regarding resident injury caused by other parties.

Impact of COVID-19 and employee shortages.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation and decreased visitation may put residents at increased risk because they cannot share their concerns of abuse, or neglect firsthand to loved ones, and there is more opportunity when elder individuals are left alone subject only to the care of nursing home staff.  Depression is also more pronounced, as caregivers who residents have become familiar with have left their positions, or are still limited in terms of visits from loved ones.  When residents become depressed and disoriented, they could act out and harm other residents.  The Governor is positioned to develop a task force to enhance certifications for nursing home staff and evaluate other effective means to close these job shortages in the state that have such a great impact on nursing home residents and their safety.   Contact an experienced nursing home attorney if you believe the shortages in nursing home staff has caused harm to a resident loved one.

Resident Bill of Rights.

Nursing home residents have rights under federal and state law, and attorneys at McDougall Law Firm can support those rights in legal actions necessary for families and individuals who have been subject to subpar standards of care or deviations from the resident’s bill of rights.  The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 outlines residential rights to protect the approximately 1.3 million Americans living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities from nursing home abuse.

South Carolina laws.

South Carolina nursing home facilities have standard operating procedures requiring administrative personnel to protect residents.  If residents suffer harm directly related to a negative nursing home encounter that exacerbated an existing health condition, or placed them in danger, a skilled lawyer can identify the appropriate legal cause of action supporting a duty of care outlined in the Resident Bill of Rights set for by the South Carolina Omnibus Adult Protection Act.  Contact an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Firm if you, or a loved one suffered injury, or an untimely fatal outcome caused by unsafe nursing home practices, inadequate precautions, and neglect.

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000





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