Cleveland Ohio Injury Blog

Reports claim overmedication is major nursing home problem

Medications that are properly and professionally administered can be an important part of care for nursing home residents. However, their misuse may constitute nursing home neglect and abuse.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has data which indicates that the administration of powerful antipsychotic drugs to elderly patients has been significantly reduced. But, overmedication remains a major problem and pressure against this practice should continue. One expert argued that, although this decrease was dramatic, other medications are being substituted that sedate patients into passivity that are not as obvious as antipsychotics.

Chili eating blamed for pedestrian death

A recently filed wrongful death and negligence lawsuit seeks to hold a bus driver liable for the death and injury of pedestrians in 2016 because he allegedly looked away from the road to throw away a chili container. The plaintiffs also charged that this was the driver's fortieth vehicle accident since joining the Southwest Regional Transit Authority in 2006.

The injured victim claimed that she was crossing Erie Avenue with her father at a walk light after dining out on January 27, 2016. The SORTA driver was eating chili as he drove the bus. When he looked down to throw away the cup, the bus crossed Erie inside the crosswalk where the pedestrians were crossing, according to the complaint. She said that she was knocked to the ground and heard her father scream when he was dragged under the bus.

What should be in a nursing home inspection?

Victims of nursing home neglect and abuse may take legal action under Ohio law. However, a short but thorough investigation before choosing a facility can help avoid nursing home negligence. An inspection of the grounds can be revealing. Determine whether the location is safe and secure and whether a loved one would feel content and safe sitting outside the buildings. Consider whether residents have nice sitting areas that are being used, whether the garbage dumpsters are reasonably clean and concealed and whether road noise is reasonable.

Determine whether there are handrails and non-skid floors. Walkways should be unobstructed and not have wheelchairs and other equipment that could cause a fall. The facility should also have a disaster plan and sufficient food, water and power if there is an extended emergency.

Police officer's family sues over motorcycle death

A routine police training exercise turned into tragedy for an Ohio police officer who died in a fatal motorcycle accident. His estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the motorcycle's manufacturers and other defendants.

The crash victim was a 46-year-old police officer for the Hilliard, Ohio police department, according to the lawsuit. During a training exercise on May 19, 2016, the front wheel of his motorcycle hit the left rear saddlebag on another officer's cycle while they were traveling on an off-ramp. His motorcycle crashed into a retaining wall while going 60 miles per hour. The officer was then thrown over the wall to a 30-foot drop in a grassy area. He was pronounced dead from head and torso injuries seven minutes later.

How lack of supervision can cause serious injuries and death

Many people in the Cleveland area rely on nursing homes to provide safe and nurturing environments for their elderly relatives. Most of them are not aware of the dangers that some nursing homes pose to their residents. Besides the risk of abuse and mistreatment, some residents are in danger of suffering serious and life-changing injuries and dying from a lack of supervision and neglect

If you are looking for a suitable nursing home for your parent, keep in mind there are many factors that can affect the safety of the elderly, including improper supervision. Here is an example of how dangerous inadequate supervision can be for nursing home residents. 

One of Ohio's largest malpractice cases grows

The complications of medical malpractice can go beyond personal injury and financial loss. Plaintiffs can also face obstacles in legal proceedings.

After filing an earlier malpractice action in Ohio, 40 patients filed a second federal lawsuit against a spinal surgeon, his attorneys and his insurer in federal court late last month. They alleged that these defendants helped the surgeon escape the country to escape one of the largest malpractice cases in state history. Over 450 plaintiffs in that malpractice case also filed a separate complaint seeking the removal of judges overseeing their state malpractice case against the surgeon.

School buses lack safety belts

Ohio lacks any requirements for seat belts on school buses, even though one proponent argued that wrongful death and personal injury verdict awards would drop. More importantly, there are six child fatalities in this country each year, while 7,000 children also suffered injuries in school bus accidents.

Costs have been an argument against mandatory seat belts in this debate, which has been ongoing for 40 years. However, current installation costs would be approximately $8,000 for a newly-ordered bus. This would cost only five dollars per student over the life of the vehicle. Additionally, insurance costs would drop because of the anticipated decrease in claims paid out over lawsuits if seat belts were required.

Nursing home penalties reduced

Late last year, the federal government announced that it is reducing the use of fines against nursing homes where residents suffered harm or faced the serious risk of injury. Guidelines put in place by the previous administration, intended to sanction nursing home neglect and abuse, were reversed.Under the new guidelines, regulators are discouraged from imposing fines in some situations. These will even include times where there is a resident death.

Almost 6,500 nursing homes, or four out of every 10, were cited at least once for a serious violation since 2013. Medicare fined two-thirds of those facilities. Failure to protect residents from avoidable accidents, neglect, mistreatment and bedsores were among the most common violations.

Preventing theft in nursing homes

Ohio and federal laws protect family members from nursing home neglect and abuse. These include requirements that facilities keep a reasonably secure environment or that it will be responsible for the theft or loss of a resident's personal property.

Additional precautions may protect the personal property of residents. First, they should request a copy of their personal inventory and family members can help verify that all their property and possessions are listed on that document. If the resident is unable to make this request, their legal representatives can ask for this document.

Possible damages in a wrongful death suit

The death of a loved one can be a hard pill to swallow, and when that death could have been avoided, it may be even harder. In such cases, a wrongful death claim may help to relieve some of the financial burden of this situation.

In order to argue a wrongful death claim successfully, it is important that individuals understand what the process entails. Determining the damages to claim is an important part of the process, and there are a few options available.

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