Many of us depend on nursing homes and long-term care facilities to care for our disabled or elderly loved ones when we can’t do so ourselves. That’s why it’s especially heinous when those facilities fail to provide adequate care and cause our loved ones serious harm through their negligence, which is what happened to the family member of one of our current clients.
HMR Veterans Services, Inc., the management company for the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home, has been in the news recently after it reported 95 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents, 44 cases among staff, and 35 deaths from the virus. However, the rapid and extensive spread of COVID-19 in the nursing home is not the only way the facility was negligent in protecting veterans.
Failure to Provide Care From Day One
Our client’s relative was admitted to Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in October 2019 after suffering a stroke that left him requiring help for all activities of daily life, including eating and turning over.
At the time of his admission, the veteran's home was informed that the veteran had a fistula, an open pocket in the roof of his mouth, after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous growth. This fistula required continuous and extensive monitoring and cleaning.
Within less than two weeks of his admission to the facility, the veteran required emergency hospitalization after staff at the veteran's home failed to clean the fistula, resulting in the wound becoming septic. The veteran also suffered bedsores, suggesting staff failed to turn him over at regular intervals.
Upon being readmitted to the veteran's home after his hospitalization, the staff was reminded a second time of the importance and necessity of keeping the fistula clean. They were reminded a third time less than two weeks later at a care meeting between the staff and our client, the veteran’s daughter.
A month after the third reminder, the veteran’s doctor noted the fistula was not being cleaned, and the veteran's home staff were reminded a fourth time.
Negligence Through the COVID-19 Crisis
After the nursing home closed to visitors due to COVID-19 concerns in March 2020, our client made near-daily phone calls with the staff to check on the status of her father’s fistula and was assured each time he was fine and free of infection.
In June 2020, our client received word her father once again required emergency hospitalization due to an infection. Our client asked the nurse on duty if they had been cleaning the fistula and she stated that “she did not know he had a fistula.”
When confronted about the lack of treatment for the fistula by phone after the emergency hospitalization, the director of nursing at the home hung up on our client.
Injuries, Physical Pain, and Mental Anguish Deserve Justice
What this veteran suffered while in the care of this veteran's home is beyond unethical. We intend to hold HMR Veterans Services, Inc., accountable for the veteran’s suffering to the fullest extent of the law, and to get our client and her father the compensation they need to repair the physical damage he suffered, pay his current and any future medical bills resulting from these injuries, and rectify the emotional turmoil their family suffered throughout and because of this ordeal.
We see cases like these all too often, and it’s never right when it happens. If your loved one has suffered something similar, you don’t have to take it lying down. Contact our firm today for a free initial consultation. When you hire Sawyer Law Firm, we’ll fight tooth and nail to hold the negligent parties responsible for the harm they cause.