A man who was in an elder care facility in another state died in an accident reportedly caused by the facility itself. The man's wife has therefore filed a lawsuit in federal court against the nursing home, alleging nursing home neglect, which remains a real problem in New Mexico and elsewhere. Damages totaling $150,000 are being sought in the lawsuit.
The woman claimed that her husband, who was 73 at the time of his death, was in the nursing home due to having medical ailments including Parkinson's disease and bipolar disorder. One day, he was smoking by himself on a balcony at the facility and ended up being engulfed in flames. He suffered burns to the scalp, face and neck, and even though he was administered first aid and was taken to the hospital, the man ended up passing away as a result of his injuries.
The deceased man's wife asserted that the nursing home did not provide an environment that was safe for her husband. An incident report by the health and human services department was included in the lawsuit and indicated that the nursing home did not comply with state requirements. According to the report, 30 percent of the smokers who were interviewed had suffered injuries while at the nursing facility.
If a family in New Mexico loses a loved one due to nursing home neglect, they have the right to seek to hold the at-fault nursing home accountable through the civil court system. Liability needs to be established to the court's satisfaction before claims for damages will be determined. A successful outcome may lead to a damage award, which may help to cover funeral costs and other related losses.
Source: philly.com, "Delco nursing home sued after man catches fire while smoking and dies", Mari A. Schaefer, Nov. 25, 2016