Consider the case of Elsie Fossum. Fossum was 95-years-old when she checked herself into as assisted living facility. Instead, she died and her family has been waiting for seven long years to find out what happened. All they know is that she died as a result of injuries sustained at the assisted living facility. In fact, the home’s administration suggested Fossum had fallen.
As it turned out, the real cause of her death was revealed by the home’s former nursing director, who stated her injuries did not come about as the result of a fall, but because she was punched. The former director described the woman’s injuries as miserable: swollen eyes, knuckle shaped bruises, and damaged eyes. Apparently, no one knew who inflicted such horror on Fossum and there have been no charges filed.
This case is just the tip of the iceberg. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, abuse complaints are steadily increasing, but many of those complaints are in limbo or on hold. In fact, it appears state regulators created cold/hold files for over 900 incidents, even files that included death under suspicious circumstances. It seems the Department of Public Health has hundreds of uninvestigated and unassigned cases waiting for attention, which they may never get.
With a change of department management in 2011, things have begun to slowly turn around, with screening within two days. Unfortunately, it also appears that many current investigations are being done only by phone, not by going to the scene, a situation that may result in missing vital information and leaving vulnerable seniors at risk.
Elsie Fossum’s case, now deemed a homicide, is now in the hands of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for a closer look. If you have concerns about a loved one in care, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. Do not wait.
The answer is that a case could go either way. In this particular example, two police officers shot a 15-year-old boy in Bakersfield and the city council approved a settlement of $75,000. The family’s lawyer felt the case would have resulted in a larger award had it gone to a trial.
The story behind this case is that the two officers stated the boy stole a car and when he was spotted driving it, he led them on a chase that concluded at a dead end. Further statements by the officers indicated the boy backed his vehicle up while they were getting out of their patrol car. Both fired on the boy at that point.
The police department called the shooting justified, however there was evidence that one of the officers involved in this death was also involved in two other fatal shootings in 2010. Would they have done better at trial? They might have, but the family could not bear the pain of a trial and reliving the facts of the case.
Often wrongful death settlements or awards are not about revenge. They are about making sure that the same thing does not happen to another family.
The latest concern about the advent of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the rising occurrence of TBI in teenage girl’s soccer. American football leads the parade, but no one gave much thought to girl’s soccer competitions. It’s well known the NFL reached a $765 settlement with players and other affected personnel, as the result of a mass lawsuit that said brain injuries from playing football resulted in lasting damage. Like football, girl’s soccer will see even more injuries as time passes. A settlement only takes care of the past. It does not address future consequences.
There are at least 1.7 million incidents in the U.S. every year in which a brain injury occurs. Each year, that number creeps up. The scary thing is there is nothing one can do to prevent them, as even wearing a regulation helmet of some type does not prevent the brain from getting bounced about inside the skull and getting bruised and swelling. The key is rapid medical intervention.
Should you suffer TBI as a result of the negligence of someone else, you need to speak with a skilled brain injury attorney. Find out your legal rights and how to obtain proper compensation for your injuries.