Helen T. Van Dale was a patient at Wingate’s Silver Lake Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Residence in Kingston in 2007 when she hit her head during a fall accident. The 92-year-old nursing home resident died within 24 hours. Now, in an attempt to hold the assisted living facility liable for her mother’s wrongful death, Van Dale’s 74-year-old daughter, Dottie Hammond, has filed a complaint alleging Massachusetts nursing home neglect.
Hammond contends that during the five weeks her mother stayed at the Kingston long-term care facility, her health declined because the nursing home staff failed to diagnose that she was suffering from a UTI. The infection caused Van Dale to feel disoriented, which is why she fell off her wheelchair.
Last July, a Massachusetts superior court medical tribunal determined that there was enough evidence for Hammond’s Massachusetts medical malpractice complaint to go forward. Hammond is determined to hold the South Shore nursing home liable for nursing neglect so that other patients won’t “suffer.”
With Discovery Rule, you have three years to file your Boston nursing home negligence lawsuit. While this cannot make up for the pain and suffering experienced by your loved one, obtaining Massachusetts injury compensation allows you to hold the negligent parties responsible.
This is one reason why you should make sure that a nursing home resident doesn’t sign away his/her right to sue for Boston personal injury in the event of medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, neglect, or negligence. Considering that, per the Boston Sunday Herald, almost 40% of Massachusetts nursing homes performed below the average during their yearly inspections, a prospective resident will want to retain the right to file a lawsuit rather than be forced to resolve the dispute via arbitration.
According to studies, resolving a nursing home abuse case through arbitration significantly lowers payouts even when serious abuse or neglect was involved. Unfortunately, most patients and their families don’t even realize that included in the thick packet of forms to sign during admission is an arbitration agreement.
Woman sues after mom’s death, Boston Herald, March 7, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Nursing Homes, Health and Human Services
Older Adults and Falls, CDC