A former nursing assistant who worked in a Portland nursing home has filed a lawsuit against the facility after she was allegedly fired because she reported patient neglect.
The former employee states that while she was on leave with the flu, other employees at the facility failed to provide proper care for her patient. When she returned to work, she found that the patient had developed a large, infected wound on his leg.
Questioning the Evidence
The employee took photos of the wound and brought them to a medical educator in an attempt to report medical neglect. The lawsuit states that the employee was fired for sharing the photos because the images violated the patient’s medical privacy.
The employee believed that she was fired for bringing attention to this alleged neglect. She is now suing the facility for $575,000.
Elder Abuse an Epidemic in the United States
If you believe that a loved one is having to deal with elder abuse, you are not alone. According to a report from the US Department of Health and Human Services in 2014:
- As many as one in twenty elderly individuals facing abuse and neglect in United States
- Only one in fourteen cases are reported to the authorities
- Nearly 22% of patients in skilled-nursing facilities experience unnecessary and preventable injuries, such as infections, medication error and falls
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect
If an older individual is in immediate danger, is is imperative that you call 911 or contact the local police department for immediate assistance.
If the danger is not immediate but you suspect elder abuse is occurring, you can report the suspected abuse by contacting the Adult Protective Services (APS) in the state where the older individual resides. You can find the correct APS reporting number in to ways:
- Visiting the State Resources Section of the National Center on Elder Abuse website; and/or
- Calling the Eldercare Locator at 1 (800) 677-1116
When You Should Contact Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, P.C.
The attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, P.C. are proud to serve all of Oregon with offices in Bend, Grands Pass, Eugene, Roseburg and Portland. If you believe that an older loved one has sustained permanent emotional or physical injury or even death because of the abuse of a nursing home facility, we are here to help.
To schedule for your free initial consultation, please call (541) 617-0555.