Personal Injury 3870 articles

Ammunition handler’s job is for the birds

Shortly after Patricia Howard took a job a contract job with USA Environmental, something just didn’t seem to smell right. The ammunition handler was sent to Iraq with the company in January 2004 to dispose of thousands of tons of explosives. Howard knew the work would be hazardous. She would be working in warehouses where hundreds of tons of ammunition are stored. But what she began to fear most was not the dangerous firepower surrounding her, but the other thing the warehouses contained: pigeon droppings. And not just a white dusting here and there, but thousands of tons of aviary ... Read More

Elder abuse, neglect often goes unnoticed

You could say that Clifford Verity meant well. He moved in with his aging mother, Ruth, took her to doctors’ appointments, even brought home fresh fish for dinner. He had worked previously as a certified nursing assistant caring for elderly in a nursing facility, and felt he could grant her wish not to be moved into a nursing home, but to age and die gracefully at home. Then her health began to spiral downward, confining her to bed and leaving her helpless. Neighbors no longer saw her and trusted Clifford was handling her needs. When Ruth died, medics came to ... Read More

Family files wrongful death lawsuit against California facility

Joanne Kessler believed she was doing the right thing when in 2006 she moved her mother, Luveda Fern Kessler, from another assisted living facility to Villa Valencia Health Care Center in Orange County, Calif., to be closer to her. The elder Kessler had had both hip- and knee-replacement surgeries and used a walker for mobility. She needed assistance getting out of bed and to the bathroom, a nurse noted. Joanne now doubts that decision. Last month, Luveda fell from her bed in the night and pressed her personal emergency call button. The fall caused a two-inch gash on her leg, ... Read More

Nursing home deaths were not merciful

A truly disturbing report out of Illinois this week. A series of suspicious deaths at a Chicago-suburban nursing home in 2006, the so-called “mercy killings” of one nurse, now appear to be ruthless murders committed by a caregiver who became “fed up” with certain patients. According to The Daily Herald, a 15-month investigation into the deaths at the Woodstock Residence in Woodstock, Ill., led to the indictment in April of two nurses – Marty Himebaugh of Lake in the Hills, Ill., and her supervisor, Penny Whitlock of Woodstock, Ill. Himebaugh faces charges of criminal neglect, obtaining morphine by fraud and ... Read More

Senate to consider Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention bill

This week, members of the U.S. Senate will consider a bill that will establish a nationwide system of background checks for individuals who apply for jobs at long-term care facilities, The Daily Times (Farmington, New Mexico) reported today. If passed, the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act would allow nursing homes to choose not to hire potentially abusive caregivers based on a coordinated system of checks against abuse and neglect registries, state police records and the FBI national database of criminal history records. The Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act is sponsored by New Mexico’s senior senator, Pete Domenici, R-N.M., ... Read More

Family sues Illinois nursing home for wrongful death

When the Hopley family moved 51-year-old Bruce Hopley into Golden Moments Senior Care Center in Jacksonville, Ill., in late August of 2006, they alerted staff that he was “severely diabetic,” and that he had required emergency hospitalization on numerous occasions for erratic blood sugar levels and seizures. Nineteen days later, just an hour after staff documented high blood sugar levels in his blood, Mr. Hopley was found dead, according to a story by the Jacksonville (Illinois) Journal-Courier. Jennifer Hopley, Mr. Hopley’s daughter and administrator of her father’s estate, filed an 18-count wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home, two doctors, ... Read More

web site gives free nursing home info

Choosing a skilled nursing facility for a family member can be a daunting task. A web site,, aims to help by offering free, easy-to-understand reports based on government surveys of approximately 16,000 nursing homes across the country. The site allows readers to review past and present state survey results, fire safety violations and substantiated complaints for all Medicare/Medicaid-certified nursing homes anywhere in the United States. Perhaps the most useful tool on the site is the National Watch List, which provides a listing of nursing homes cited for violations or that have received substantiated complaints. This list is broken down ... Read More

Nursing home residents closer to regaining right to sue

Nursing home residents and their families who sign mandatory arbitration clauses when being admitted into long-term care facilities, are one step closer to regaining their rights to hold those facilities accountable in court for abuse and neglect, according to the Senior Journal. The Journal reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee this week approved the bi-partisan bill – the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2008. The bill moves to the Senate for approval. According to the Senior Journal the bill would invalidate mandatory arbitration clauses in nursing home, assisted living, and other long-term care facility contracts. Under the bill, residents ... Read More

Minnesota nursing home aides abuse patients for thrills

Fifteen Minnesota nursing home residents with dementia were abused, taunted and groped by four nursing home aides who were simply looking for on-the-job thrills, according to a story in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. The four aides from Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Albert Lea, Minn., were fired after a coworker revealed that she was aware of the four women abusing residents, the Star Tribune reported. The aides allegedly held residents down whey they resisted, put their fingers in residents’ mouths and noses to quiet their cries and screams, hit and rubbed their breasts and genitals, and sexually “humped” ... Read More

a special place …

There is a horrifying report out of Minnesota today about nursing home residents abused by their caregivers. The patients, all suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, were teased, spit on, and sexually assaulted. The Associated Press report said four nursing assistants were involved. There is truly a special place … well you know where … for people who would do something like this. According to the report, which was carried by local CBS affiliate WCCO, the nursing assistants allegedly spit in residents’ mouths, poked their breasts and touched their genitals, and teased them. Nursing home abuse has to be one ... Read More