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Center cited for not protecting others from aggressive resident

Most cases of nursing home neglect in Springfield tend to center on employees neglecting or behaving inappropriately towards the residents in their care. But what about those times when violence occurs between two residents? Often the people residing at these centers suffer from conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Even though these people are typically placed in isolated units away from the general resident population, they are still often in close quarters with others dealing with the same struggles that they are. Knowing this, it may not then seem that shocking to hear of residents acting out against each other. Yet when one of these incidents result in an injury to one or both of the parties involved, who’s responsible? Can a nursing home or care center be held liable for the action of those not under its employ?

Apparently so, at least according to the Virginia Department of Social Services. A local assisted living center was found to not have provided a safe environment for a woman who was attacked by a fellow resident, resulting in injuries that required her to be treated at a local hospital. The man who attacked her had been known to be aggressive towards others, and was reported to have even had a previous altercation with this same woman. According to the woman’s daughter, that incident went unreported. Even though the daughter was notified in this case, the investigation report from Social Services claims that the staff had failed to protect other resident’s from the man’s aggressive behavior.

When family or friends entrust a loved to the care of a nursing home, it’s with the expectation that he or she will be protected from any potential harm, be it from staff or other residents. If they believe that the home’s failure to do resulted in his or her being abused or injured, they may wish to initiate legal action. A lawyer with experience in elder abuse cases may be helpful in formulating such a case. 

Source: The Virginian-Pilot “Lawsuit cites report criticizing assisted living center” Patrick Wilson, Nov. 09, 2013

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