There are many nursing homes and residential care facilities in New Mexico and across the country that go to great lengths to ensure that residents receive the care that they need. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for all such facilities. In fact, a recently filed wrongful death lawsuit makes several concerning claims about a man’s death that ultimately resulted in criminal charges against a caregiver.
The case involves the death of an 87-year-old man; the plaintiffs in the case are three of his children, and the defendants are the residential care facility — and the facility’s owners — whose neglect allegedly led to his death. Reports indicate that the man’s body was discovered in a trash bin in Nov. 2019. He is believed to be the victim of torture in which a screwdriver, hammer, box cutter and knife were used. A caretaker at the facility, a 32-year-old woman, now faces criminal charges; she could face the death penalty if convicted.
According to court papers, the plaintiffs believe that the victim was admitted to the facility and kept there even though workers were unable to provide the care he needed. Once admitted, allegedly for profit, his children believe that he was abandoned. The owners, according to the lawsuit, deliberately underfunded and understaffed the facility to maximize profit. The facility has since closed.
The lawsuit alleges wrongful death, elder abuse and negligence. While the case may seem shocking, many residents of nursing home and residential facilities in New Mexico also find themselves suffering as result of neglect, often due to understaffing or improperly trained workers. In some cases, patients — or their family members — feel they must take action in response to the harm such actions cause. An attorney who has experience working with such facilities can help determine the most appropriate path to recourse.