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El Paso Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

Elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation is a criminal act in El Paso, Texas, where the law is very clear on the rights of elderly citizens. Even those under ongoing medical treatment have the right to be a part of their medical and personal decisions. They have a right to refuse restraints or treatments in health care facility, and to see a medical doctor when in need of one. The nursing care facilities in El Paso have come under fire before for neglecting these rights.

El Paso Emeritus

In 2011, the Court of Appeals in Texas ruled in favor of an ex-employee of the facility, who alleged that she was let go after sending an email detailing concerns about the level of care provided for the patients. Her claims primarily focused on short staff, claiming that the needs of the residents could not be met by the number of staff members. The Texas Court ordered the El Paso Emeritus facility to pay the employee over 100,000 dollars in damages. No charges were made regarding the care of the patients in the facility.

However, the Emeritus organization, which owns nursing homes all over the country, has recently been under fire again, due to an 81-year-old patient’s wrongful death in Seattle. This suit, along with two others and the case in El Paso, have prompted deeper investigations into Emeritus facilities in Seattle, Florida, and Idaho.

Nursing Home Abuse in El Paso

There are many forms of abuse that are recognized by the state of Texas and the city of El Paso. Physical abuse is among the easiest to understand, including hitting, rough handling, scratching, or neglecting in such a way that physical injury comes to the patient, such as allowing them to fall without medical attention.

Emotional abuse is another factor, and may include threatening language or degrading language. Neglect includes ignoring patients’ immediate needs, such as not providing assistance using a bathroom or showering. It also encompasses the lack of repositioning patients, which leads to bed sores that could become infected. Infected bed sores are one of the most common complaints of nursing care abuse, and have led to wrongful deaths in other nursing care facilities around Texas.

Medical abuse also includes using antipsychotic drugs that aren’t necessary for the patient’s treatment, or refusing to call emergency services when needed. Financial abuse is also covered, and may include the act of committing fraud on Medicare reports in order to accept payments for the patient’s treatment that were not necessary. It may also include theft of money, jewelry, or other personal effects while in a nursing care facility.

Reporting Elder Abuse

The statute of limitations for reporting elder abuse crimes in El Paso varies depending on the type of crime committed. There are many El Paso lawyers who specialize in nursing home abuse that can work with the Adult Protective Services or the Attorney General’s office to investigate and charge the appropriate parties.

Texas law states that all citizens, regardless of role or relation, have an obligation to report any suspicions of elder abuse or neglect. In the case of the Emeritus employee, she could have been found guilty of a misdemeanor if she had not brought her concerns to light. When reporting crimes to the appropriate authorities, you are allowed the right to remain anonymous if you wish. In these instances, you should attempt to report as soon as you can, and with as much detail as possible, including the extent of the injuries or symptoms of abuse you witnessed, and any other information that could be relevant.

 

Sources:

 

https://txpd.org/tpj/10/senior.html

 

http://www.texasemploymentlawupdate.com/2011/07/articles/case-summaries/el-paso-court-of-appeals-recognizes-private-right-of-action-for-retaliation-for-assisted-living-facility-employees/

 

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/23m-verdict-stings-seattle-based-assisted-living-giant-emeritus/

 

 

 

 

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