Tag Archive for: nursing home abuse

Nursing Home Abuse attorney in el cajon

How Negligent Hiring And Supervision in Nursing Homes Can Cause Injuries

It is imperative for employers to identify the right individual for the job, particularly when that job involves providing care to children or the elderly. To achieve that end, there are stringent staffing procedures in place meant to ensure that only the qualified are allowed to offer direct care to elderly residents in nursing homes.

Despite proper licensing procedures, there are still cases where less qualified employees can slip through the cracks. When this occurs, and the employee causes an injury, the nursing home itself will be responsible either via negligent hiring or negligent supervision.

Negligent Hiring: Meaning

Negligent hiring refers to a type of legal claim that is made by a client or worker who is somehow injured by an employee that a company engages. They are typically made when there is something in the employee’s history that could have indicated that they would engage in questionable behavior.

For instance, a negligent hiring claim could be brought against an employee who assaulted a client when the employee had a criminal conviction for assault on their record. Such cases are quite common in industries where an employee has a significant level of control over others or access to other’s assets, including real estate agents, nursing home workers, utility workers, hotel staff, and rental apartment personnel, among others.

The legal liability for negligent hiring is attached when the employer was either aware or should have been aware of the employee’s background but did not take adequate steps to consider that background when making hiring decisions. There are various measures that every employer, particularly nursing homes, should take to ensure that they aren’t hiring a reckless employee, such as:

  • Undertaking a criminal background check
  • Verifying employment and personal references
  • Validating college degrees
  • Conducting a drug screening
  • Performing credit checks
  • Verifying driving records

The employer should also confirm claims made by an applicant, such as why they left their previous employment, why there is a gap in employment on their resume, etc. The plaintiff must show the following to establish a negligent hiring claim:

  • The employer should have conducted a suitable investigation of the employee and failed to perform it;
  • A thorough investigation would have shown the unsuitability of the employee for the specific duty to be performed or for the employment in general; and
  • It was unreasonable for the employer to engage the employee in view of the information they knew or should have known.

Foreseeability is the core element here. The liability for negligent hiring will come into play when the specific hazard that occurred could have reasonably been foreseen when the employee was hired.

Negligent Supervision: Meaning

Negligent supervision is akin to a claim of negligent hiring, except that it involves wrongdoing by the employee that would not have necessarily been foreseeable through a background check, but that the employer was aware or should have been aware that it would occur.

In cases involving daycare facilities, nursing homes, and any other setting where caregivers are charged with the welfare of others, it can be proven when the caregiver knows or should have known that an injury would occur to an individual in their care, but they failed to prevent it from occurring.

Negligent supervision liability attaches when the employer becomes aware or should have become aware of the issues with an employee that indicated their unsuitability, and the employer fails to investigate, terminate, or reassign the employee.

In nursing homes and daycare centers where employees exercise a significant degree of control over their charges, negligent supervision can be proven through:

  • The caregiver’s duty to care for the victim exists.
  • The caregiver’s failure to prevent the type of injury that occurred.
  • Injury to the victim due to inaction on the part of the caregiver.
  • The injury was such that it should have been foreseeable to the caregiver.

Types of Injuries that Occur Due to Negligent Hiring and Supervision

Negligent Hiring

Some examples of injuries in nursing homes that could result from negligent hiring include the following:

  • A nursing home engages an employee with an assault conviction on his record and then they proceed to assault a patient.
  • A nursing home hires a registered nurse whose certification was expired when they were hired, who then administers the wrong drugs to a patient.

Negligent Supervision

Negligent supervision in nursing homes could result in the following injuries:

  • The nursing home administrator is aware that a specific nurse and patient don’t get along with one another, yet assigns that nurse to the patient anyways, and the nurse slaps the patient during an argument.
  • The nursing home administrator is aware that a particular employee steals small items from other workers, and the employee ends up stealing several thousand dollars from a patient’s room.

Legal Assistance from Compassionate, Caring Attorneys

At Garmo & Garmo, we provide robust legal representation for victims of abuse and negligence. If you or someone you love has experienced inexplicable injuries or illness in a nursing home, we want to help you defend your rights and fight for your interests. Call our La Mesa office today at (619) 441-2500 to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. 

Nursing Home Abuse attorney in el cajon

Protecting Loved Ones from Nursing Home Abuse

There is a crisis in America’s nursing homes that is not receiving nearly the attention it deserves. The aging population has put a major strain on the country’s healthcare system, and nursing facilities have done very little (if anything) to address this issue. In recent years, a growing number of facilities have become “for-profit” entities, and far too many of them are putting their economic well-being ahead of the residents and patients they are supposed to serve.

In California, there are approximately 1,250 licensed long-term care nursing facilities. Of those, less than 150 receive top ratings. On the other hand, lawmakers recently revealed a long list of troubled nursing homes, dozens of which are located in the Golden State.

Nursing home abuse is widespread in California, and according to the Department of Justice, the number of complaints of neglect, abuse, and exploitation filed against nursing facilities within the state is twice the national rate. California currently has the largest population of individuals over the age of 60, and the number of residents that are over age 65 is expected to double by 2030. Given these demographic trends, abuse and neglect in nursing homes is likely to be a major problem for the foreseeable future.

How to Protect your Aging Loved Ones from Nursing Home Abuse

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), as many as 5 million seniors experience some form of abuse in the United States each year. But as bad as that number is, it is likely a very conservative estimate.

The NCOA goes on to say that only about one out of every 14 cases of abuse are ever formally reported to authorities, and it is easy to understand why. Nursing home residents are entirely dependent on their caregivers for almost everything, and many of them fear reprisal (from their caregivers) if they report abuse and nothing is done about it.

It is easy to believe that nursing home abuse is something that happens to other people, but it could not happen to your loved one. Hopefully that is true and your loved one is in a good place. But given the widespread problems with nursing facilities in California and throughout the country, this is not something you can afford to leave to chance.

Here are some of the most important things family members should do to protect their aging loved ones from abuse and neglect in a nursing facility:

Show Up Frequently: Abuse and neglect are most likely to occur against nursing home residents who do not have many visitors. If, on the other hand, you and others in your family show up regularly, caregivers will realize this and usually make a concerted effort to provide the care your loved one deserves. Create a regular visiting schedule and involve as many family members as possible. In addition, try to throw in some irregular visits just to keep the staff guessing and help ensure that they are always on their best behavior.

Get to Know your Loved One’s Caregiver(s): When you come in to visit, take the time to get to know those who are looking after your loved one. Also ask to meet the supervisors and directors of the facility. Discuss your loved one’s care plan in detail and ask pointed questions of the staff. This level of engagement shows the staff and management that you are concerned about your loved one’s well-being and committed to making sure they are well cared for.

Pay Close Attention to their Living Conditions: As you visit, note the conditions your loved one is living in, as well as their physical and emotional condition. Look for any signs that something may not be the right, like poor hygiene, bedsores, cuts, bruises, and unexplained falls and fractures. Pay special attention to how caregivers answer questions about issues you raise. If their answers are hostile, dismissive, or defensive, then this is a definite sign that you may need to take further actions to protect your loved one.

Consider Installing a Hidden Camera: If you suspect there might be some neglect or abuse happening, but you are not totally certain, one way to confirm your suspicion is to put a hidden camera in their room. The California Department of Social Services allows hidden cameras in nursing homes as long as the patient and the family members involved in their care agree to it.

Take Immediate Action if Abuse or Neglect is Occurring: If you reach the point where you are relatively sure your loved one is being abused, then it is time to take swift action and report it to authorities. You can file a complaint with the California Department of Health online or by calling (916) 492-8232. And if your loved one is in immediate danger and/or this is an emergency, call 911. Finally, get in touch with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss the legal aspects of your case and the potential to recover damages against those who have perpetrated these egregious actions or knowingly allowed them to take place.

Contact Garmo & Garmo LLP for a Free Consultation

If the nursing facility that abused your loved one is located in San Diego, El Cajon, or anywhere in Southern California, call Garmo and Garmo, LLP today at 619-441-2500 or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment. We look forward to serving you!