Placing your loved one in a nursing home is a big decision that most families take very seriously. Careful research including safety ratings, facility tours, and cost comparisons are factors that help families decide where their loved one will best be taken care of. When they find out that their carefully chosen nursing home is responsible for abusing their family member, it can be devastating.
Some people wonder if they need to sue the nursing home or a specific employee. Here’s a brief overview of who you can (and should) sue, and when. If you have questions, be sure to call an Ohio nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Nursing Home Residents and Their Rights
The duty of a nursing home is so important that the Ohio state legislature codified a “bill of rights” for residents. This code section lists the resident’s right to “be free from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse and to be treated at all times with courtesy, respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality,” among other important provisions. The law also provides for injunctive relief and filing grievances against the nursing home.
When you sue a nursing home for abuse and neglect to recover damages, however, it is usually under Ohio’s medical malpractice statute. This is a type of negligence case. Plaintiffs argue that the healthcare providers failed in their duty of care to the resident.
Do I Sue the Nursing Home or a Specific Employee?
While you might want to sue a specific employee, claims are generally brought against the nursing home. This is because employers are liable for employee negligence on the job—and practically speaking, the nursing home employer is in a better position to pay damages.
This vicarious liability is also known as “respondeat superior.” The key to a successful respondeat superior claim is proving that the employee’s abusive actions (or omitted actions) were “in the course of their employment.” This means it has to be authorized by the employer, or very closely related to the authorized act. When it comes to nursing home abuse, that simply means you must prove the employee abused or neglected your loved one when they should have been taking care of them. If the harmful actions somehow occurred off the premises and while the employee was off duty, the nursing home would not be liable.
Your attorney can help you determine a cause of action, who to file a claim against and how to proceed.
Contact My Office for Help with Your Case
Older adults are some of the most vulnerable residents in Ohio, and they deserve a high standard of care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
If you have an elderly parent or another family member who may have been the victim of nursing home negligence, I will do everything I can to ensure that the facility is held accountable. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my firm at 877.944.4373 to learn more about how I regularly assist families in Ohio with nursing home negligence claims.