Law You Can Use: Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

JoeBurkeLogo_presented3​Q: I have good reason to believe my mother has been neglected by staff at the nursing home where she lives. Is there a law against this?
A: Yes. In Ohio, it is a crime for anyone who owns, operates, administers, is employed by, or is an agent of a nursing home, group home, residential care facility, assisted living facility, adult care facility or hospital long-term care unit to abuse or neglect a resident of that facility.  In addition, the law allows a resident to bring a civil suit for money damages against the owner, operator, administrator, employee and/or agent of the nursing home for compensation.

Joseph Burke Law_WEB4Q: What constitutes abuse according to Ohio law?
A: According to Ohio law, “abuse” includes “knowingly causing physical harm or recklessly causing serious physical harm” to a person through physical contact or the inappropriate use of physical or chemical restraint, medication or isolation. Care facility staff is not allowed to use restraint, medication or isolation to punish a patient or for staff convenience, as a substitute for treatment, or in ways that hinder rehabilitation or treatment.

Q: How does Ohio law define neglect?
A: Ohio law defines “neglect” as recklessly failing to provide a person with the treatment, care, goods or services necessary to maintain health or safety, resulting in serious physical harm to the patient.

Q: My mother was recently missing some cash and gift cards, and I suspect a staff member of the theft. What does Ohio law say about the financial exploitation of patients?
A: The Ohio Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates crimes against care facility residents. When elderly or disabled adults are victimized, Ohio law allows for stiffer penalties for offenses such as theft, unauthorized use of property, misuse of credit cards and forgery. The resident may also be entitled to money damages from the abuser and the care facility.

If you or a loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may be entitled to compensation for the harms you’ve suffered.  Contact me today for a free consultation. We can also help your loved one get out of that dangerous situation and protect others who might be at the same risk of harm.

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