Nursing Home Litigation Complicated by Lack of Transparent Ownership but Victims Still Deserve Justice
Nursing home residents have rights to be treated with respect and dignity. They should receive adequate and appropriate care, and staff should follow state and federal regulations. Just like doctors, a nursing home staff owes the resident a standard of care to maintain their well-being. When they fail to adequate provide for their safety, keep sufficient records, and maintain their medical care and nutritional needs, a nursing home can be liable for its negligence.
Victims that are dealing with injuries or the death of their loved one can pursue a nursing home lawsuit. But as the economy has changed and nursing homes have closed due to lawsuits that hurt their business dramatically, holding them accountable has gotten tougher. Finding out who owns and operates a nursing home can take some extensive research. One entity might own the land, another owns the building, and a private investment firm operates the nursing home, for example. As a recent case shows in the Pinellas Park area of Tampa Bay, a family can win a jury trial but then be left with the task of finding out who is responsible for paying up.
Elvira Nunziata, a 92-year-old woman with dementia and in a wheelchair, lived at Pinellas Park Care and Rehab Center. Staff had left a door open to a stairwell, which likely happened as employees went outside for a break. She passed through the doorway and toppled to her death down the stairwell. Had it not been for this oversight, her life would have played out differently.
What complicates this lawsuit is that the company that opened the center at the time of the deadly incident no longer owns it or even exists. One company now manages the income side of the business. Another inherited the liabilities. The family’s lawyers had to bring in forensic accountants to track movements of money. The family deserves its $200 million jury award, but they are left to find who is accountable for this money.
Difficulties like this play out every day for nursing home residents and their loved ones. An aggressive nursing home litigation attorney is critical to have so that the family can get the best experts and lawyers with credibility and stamina to keep tracking down the people and entities that are responsible for what goes on at a nursing home. Nursing home entities might dissolve after their reputation for shoddy care becomes too overwhelming, but that is no excuse for giving up your case. Even though it can take years to resolve such matters, justice is important.