Living in the age of COVID-19 is difficult for everyone. However, it is potentially devastating for the most vulnerable members of our society who find themselves living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities that are being ravaged by this terrible virus. However, the sad truth is that the COVID-19 pandemic did not create the problems in our nursing homes, but rather the disease has merely shone spotlight on the challenges and weaknesses that were already there.
Some nursing homes in Ontario have struggled to take proper care of residents at the best of times, while others are properly managed, have sufficient staff, and are safe havens for the people staying there. The sad truth is that in too many nursing homes in Ontario, residents find themselves subject to neglect and even abuse.
If your loved one’s nursing home negligently failed to mitigate the risk presented by the novel Coronavirus, you may want to talk to a local lawyer about your legal options. Depending on your circumstances, a Barrie nursing home Coronavirus lawyer could help you pursue compensation individually for your damages or join a class-action lawsuit against a liable organization or entity.
Due to staffing shortages, lack of training, or even simple lack of compassion and empathy, residents at nursing homes all too often find themselves exposed to physical emotional, and even sexual abuse.
Staff members who are not properly trained or are overworked may be prone to making mistakes, putting your loved ones at risk. For instance, overworked staff may be more prone to improperly using or forgetting to use restraints resulting in emotional and physical risk to seniors in nursing homes.
The leading cause of death for the elderly in Ontario is slip and falls, and complications arising therefrom. When restraints and safety devices are not properly used, or when staffing levels are insufficient, residents in nursing homes find themselves at increased risk of falls which might often be life changing or fatal for your elderly relative.
In extreme cases, residents have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous staff. elderly individuals facing cognitive challenges are susceptible to being financially exploited. This could be something as simple as giving away gifts or as nefarious as the actual transfer of money out of the senior’s bank account.
Less obvious problems include health concerns resulting from facilities failing to take adequate steps to properly feed, hydrate, move, or clean residents. Lack of personal hygiene and proper nutrition will inevitably lead to a decline in patient health and even death.
Any time a nursing home or assisted living facility violates the fundamental rights of a resident or treats them in an abusive or neglectful, they may bear civil liability for any damages that resident suffers as a result. Sometimes this abuse can come from staff, but sometimes it can even come from other residents. Likewise, if a nursing home resident dies prematurely due to mistreatment from nursing home staff, administrators, or other residents, their surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated problematic behavior in various nursing homes in our area to an appalling degree. In five nursing homes that were hit particularly badly by COVID-19, Canadian Armed Forces personnel reportedly observed numerous examples of inexcusable negligence, including residents sitting in soiled diapers, going without baths for weeks, and being left without assistance from staff for extended periods of time.
To make matters worse, these facilities and presumably many others did not follow proper procedures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. In some cases, housing residents who had tested positive with COVID-19 were placed in the same room as residents who had not. A local nursing home Coronavirus lawyer could help anyone whose family member was infected with COVID-19 due to negligence of a nursing home facility.
Several class-action lawsuits are already active against individual nursing homes in Barrie, alleging that they were legally negligent in their failure to maintain sanitary conditions and minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure to residents. These cases have also alleged that facilities did not communicate the status of residents to their family members in a timely fashion, leaving them without any awareness of the danger their loved ones were in.
Given the nature of this pandemic, negligence in nursing homes has led to hundreds of infections and dozens of deaths within individual facilities. Accordingly, the best option for a family seeking compensation on behalf of a nursing home resident may to be to start or join a class-action lawsuit with other families of residents in the same facility.
By combining their cases into a mass tort, family members with the same cause of action against the same negligent facility could share resources and maximize their chances of a positive case result. A nursing home Coronavirus lawyer from our firm could discuss the best option for you to pursue during an initial consultation.
No nursing home resident should suffer through any kind of abuse or neglect from the facility staff members entrusted with their care. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has had fatal consequences for hundreds of nursing home residents in Barrie, many of whom were victims of a negligent lack of care from the very people they depended on most.
At Rastin Law, our nursing home litigation group has the experience and expertise necessary to take on the insurance companies that represent nursing homes in Barrie where residents have suffered adverse outcomes as a result of the failure to provide the necessities of life including nutrition, hygiene, safety and security for their residents. If you or your loved one has been harmed as a result of mistreatment or neglect at the hands of a nursing home, please contact us immediately so that we can help.