Nursing home patients and residents are among the most vulnerable populations to treat in a care facility. Their physical and mental conditions can deteriorate quickly for reasons unrelated to their care, and complications can arise beyond the control of facility care providers and staff.
Still, claims of nursing home neglect and abuse are not uncommon. Should they arise, defending against them can be crucial for facilities wanting to protect their reputation and employees.
Challenging baseless claims
Unfortunately, many patients in a nursing home facility experience some degree of mental and psychological decline. Their memories can be fading; they may have some degree of dementia. These conditions can contribute to anxiety, paranoia and confusion, which can trigger false allegations.
Therefore, witness statements and medical records can counter baseless misconduct claims when disputing cases based on these false accusations.
Even if something does happen in a care setting, resulting charges can weigh heavily on what the party accused of wrongdoing knew or should have known.
For instance, courts in another state recently acquitted a nursing home administrator of criminal charges after nine patients reportedly overheated and died. A hurricane hit the facility, knocking its air conditioning out. The administrator faced charges of manslaughter.
However, a judge upheld his acquittal, saying that the prosecution had not proven the administrator showed reckless disregard or conscious indifference to the safety of patients. Instead, he stated there was sufficient proof that he and his employees attempted to provide appropriate care.
Whether parties face civil or criminal charges, determining what people knew or intended is crucial for a defense.
Providing medical evidence
Adverse events happen in nursing homes. Patients get sick; they fall; family members misunderstand procedures. And they can happen regardless of the care they receive.
Thus, it is crucial to understand the medical reasoning behind why they occur. Medical evidence such as expert testimony, lab results and care records can all shed light on a situation challenging the presence or impact of alleged misconduct.
Unfounded claims of abuse, neglect or other types of malpractice can cause irreparable harm to facilities and care providers. Defending against these can be vital in protecting careers and reputations.