There are instances where a nursing home abuse case may not be provable, or even result in a hung jury and a retrial. One particular South Dakota case demonstrates that clearly. Even though it happened in another state, it could just as easily happen in California.
In the South Dakota case, an ex-nursing home aide was charged and tried for felony elder abuse. She allegedly yanked a 76-year-old woman’s hair and forced her to take her medications by holding her down. She was also accused of pushing and shoving the woman by her breast, causing bruising and pain.
At trial jurors were told there was no evidence the incident, which happened late at night, did involve violence against the woman, or that the bruising on the woman’s chest was not the result of her falling out of bed. The woman apparently did not scream and her roommate had no recollection of anything happening. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict, one way or the other. They were dismissed, and there is the possibility of a second trial.
If you suspect your loved one is being abused, contact my office. We need to get to the bottom of those suspicions and take action should it be necessary. We are experienced in handling cases such as this one.
An elderly 80-year-old man, in a private nursing home, lived pretty much independently for most of the five years he resided there. His last six months were a nightmare, and ended in his death.
When the elderly gentleman died, it was revealed he had severe bed sores all over his body and suffered from malnutrition and severe weight loss. The owner and staff of the home were charged with neglect of a dependent person. Two of the three individuals charged received prison sentences; the third was offered probation for cooperating with the investigation into the man’s death.
The man’s daughter filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the home, alleging negligence, but it was not answered. Accordingly, the plaintiff’s attorney asked for a finding in favor of the estate. This meant the judge would make a final decision on a damage award because the nursing home had defaulted.
The final award to the plaintiff was made under Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Act and under a Pennsylvania Survival Action. Both of these types of actions are available in California, and a survival action is awarded to an estate. A wrongful death action offers compensation to relatives for an act of negligence or unlawful violence.
See California Code of Civil Procedure sections 377.20(a) and 377.30). California Code of Civil Procedure sections 377.10, et seq. which lays out rules relating to survivor actions.
Football is a national pastime, but one that now carries the looming threat of traumatic brain injury. Multiple concussions may evolve into serious conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dementia, conditions that can cost thousands of dollars for care. We only need look to the NFL for examples of this.
It seems, according to recent evidence, that it is not just the linebackers, quarterbacks, tight ends or receivers being hit hard enough to sustain head trauma. It is also the kickers and punters, positions our children play during school football. It’s a well-known fact that punters and kickers regularly get flattened during the course of game play, but few people have made the connection between those hits and the risk of concussion for children on the field.
It should come as no surprise that 64 former placekickers and punters have filed lawsuits against their former teams. The claims successfully paid out cost, on average, $215,000. There is now a movement afoot in the form of Bill AB 1309, which aims to permanently bar athletes who did not play for California teams, and excludes Golden State players if they were on a team for fewer than two seasons, or played seven or more seasons on other state teams. The bill is not designed just for football players. It addresses soccer, hockey players, baseball and basketball.
The injustice of that type of bill needs to be questioned, as it bars players who played a rough game, at considerable risk, on the assurances of their coaches and owners that they would be fine with proper gear. This is clearly not so, as proven by the plethora of evidence that shows coaches and owners were aware of the damage concussions could cause, but kept playing to win.
There is a lesson inherent in this latest development of more players being at risk for brain injury, one that parents need to examine closely with an eye to protecting the fragile, growing brains of their children. We also need to be aware of whether or not coaching staff, field physicians and team owners have been negligent in terms of informing them of all the risks they face playing sports.