When abuse or negligence occurs in a nursing home, the hope is that someone will report it. This could be a staff member, a family member of a patient, or the patient himself. When the abuse is reported, steps can be taken to correct the problem and ensure that other residents are safe from harm. Protocols can be changed to resolve problems that lead to abuse or neglect and the vulnerable residents of the nursing home can be protected.
Unfortunately, top managers and even owners of nursing homes have an incentive not to report abuse, but to cover it up. Syracuse.com, for example, recently reported that the owner of one nursing home as well as several top managers of the nursing facility were indicted and faced multiple criminal charges for covering up instances of abuse or neglect.
An Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can provide assistance to residents and family members when abuse occurs. Nursing home abuse cases can make nursing home companies, owners, and executives responsible for the harm that their actions cause. When a nursing home abuse case results in a large verdict for the plaintiff, the verdict can also send a message to other facilities that abuse is never acceptable. This is an important part of preventing future abuse because the risk of a lawsuit can change the incentives for managers and executives.
Why Do Nursing Home Executives Have Incentive to Cover Up Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home owners and managers have incentive to cover up abuse and neglect because the nursing home facility can be held accountable even when staff members are the ones who perpetrate the wrongful behavior or when staff members fail to meet the reasonable needs of patients.
When nursing home staff makes mistakes or engages in abusive behavior while performing work duties, it is often the nursing home facility that is sued and not the individual staff member. This makes sense because the home has more insurance and the company has more money than the staff members. Unfortunately, it means that executives may try to cover up the abuse to protect the home from financial loss.
In the Syracuse case, for example, the owners and managers went so far as to destroy electronic records and other evidence of the instances of abuse and neglect. In that particular case, the problems involved a serious medication error as well as the sexual abuse of a nursing home resident in a dining room that was not properly supervised. The coverup ultimately came out in an interview with nursing home staff members, which the home owner illegally eavesdropped on.
When abuse or neglect occurs, the incentive of those in charge should be to bring the incident to light, compensate the victims, and correct the conditions that led to the abuse. Only when nursing home executives have to face serious penalties for not coming forward will this be the case. The criminal charges are a good step towards ensuring accountability, and civil cases can also ensure that the nursing home is held financially responsible for losses due to the home’s failures.
The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent nursing home. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.