In Bristol County, Massachusetts, District Attorney Sam Sutter announced that the 100-year-old woman who was found dead in her bed at a Dartmouth nursing home on September 24 was strangled. Elizabeth Barrows was a resident at the Brandon Woods nursing home. Now, the medical examiner’s office is ruling her death a homicide.
Barrow was found in her bed with a plastic bag over her head. Investigators at first thought that she committed suicide, but autopsy findings indicate that she died from asphyxiation caused by manual strangulation.
The Dartmouth, Massachusetts nursing home is working with the authorities on this case. Barrow’s relatives say that because of an error in communication, a press release was issued announcing that her death was a homicide before the family was notified.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding an injury or death at a Massachusetts assisted living facility, a nursing home can be held liable for nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, wrongful death, or nursing home negligence. Massachusetts nursing homes are obligated to make sure that residents are not physically assaulted, sexually assaulted, robbed, or murdered. Failure to provide adequate security, perform criminal background checks on nursing home workers and patients, failure to closely monitor potentially dangerous residents (or keep them separate from other patients), and failure to monitor who enters and exits the facility can be grounds for a Massachusetts nursing home negligence lawsuit if someone gets hurt or dies.
Recently, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently gave Brandon Woods a 4 out of 5 star rating and the assisted living facility satisfied 122 of 132 of the Massachusetts Department of Health’s key nursing home criteria. It’s total score, however, was 116, which is lower than the state’s 121 average.
Our Boston nursing home negligence lawyers represent clients and their families throughout the state of Massachusetts.
DA: Never Had A Case Like 100-Year-Old’s Slaying, WCVB, October 8, 2009
Justice sought in strangulation of 100-year-old, Boston.com, October 8, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Massachusetts Nursing Homes
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Nursing Home Compare, Medicare.gov