Nursing Home Operator Accused of Intentional Understaffing
A lawsuit has been filed against several Illinois nursing homes alleging that the nursing homes intentionally understaffed its facilities. Residents of the nursing home are prone to slip and fall injuries, pressure ulcers (bed sores), and aren’t diagnosed with potentially life-threatening conditions until it is too late. Attorneys for the plaintiff are seeking to file a class-action lawsuit against six facilities. The attorneys allege that the facilities have consistently understaffed their nursing homes in an effort to increase profits. Three of the nursing homes reside in Chicago. Three others are scattered throughout Illinois. Combined, the nursing homes have 1,400 residents.
The corporate structure of nursing homes
Nursing homes are designed to be liability shields when it comes to filing personal injury lawsuits. Their corporate structure is designed to insulate investors from potential lawsuits. Some nursing homes will operate at razor-thin profit margins, understaff their facilities, and create a situation that is detrimental to both the nursing home staff and its residents.
How is this accomplished? Nursing homes will pay exorbitant rental fees to another company. These fees are well in excess of going market rate for commercial rentals. The money the nursing homes earn are thus funneled to another corporation allowing the nursing home to reap profits for the other company. The nursing home itself is profitable, just not its own company.
Understaffing in nursing homes
There are no regulations that determine how many nurses should be available for a set number of residents in a nursing home. When the nursing home is understaffed, the residents get a reduced quality of care. This can result in residents being severely injured by neglect. Residents might develop bedsores, slip and fall injuries, and see delays in necessary diagnoses when their condition worsens.
In the case mentioned above, the nursing homes often house those of marginalized populations who are beneficiaries of Medicaid. Many of these nursing homes have serious sanitary issues, routinely neglect patients, and cause injury to their residents.
When an individual is injured by substandard care in a nursing home, they can file a lawsuit against the nursing home. These lawsuits tend to make allegations related to staffing as staffing tends to be one of the most common reasons patients are neglected. In a bid to increase profits, the nursing home will risk injury to its residents.
When filing a lawsuit against a nursing home, the plaintiff must establish what the prevailing standard of care is for the nursing homes. When a patient is neglected or abused, the plaintiff can say that the nursing home has failed to provide the prevailing standard of care that other nursing homes provide to their patients. Nursing home neglect lawsuits tend to be filed under a theory of medical malpractice. So, the conduct of the nursing home must be considered in terms of the prevailing standard of care for the profession.
Talk to a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Today
If you or your loved one have been injured due to the negligent care of a nursing home, call the Decatur personal injury lawyers at Patel Law, PC today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.