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Nursing Home Abuse Wrongful Death Suit Ends As Survivor’s Lawsuit

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.