Class Action Suit Grows As Concern Spreads About Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes

The AARP has joined a class-action lawsuit accusing a nursing home of using powerful antipsychotic drugs without first receiving the consent of residents or their representatives. Lawyers from the AARP will serve as co-counsel in a case alleging that facility violated state regulations when they failed to ensure that a doctor had received a patient's or family member's consent before administering medications.

The need to bring more attention to the overuse of antipsychotics in nursing homes attracted the AARP. The lead plaintiff is a 54-year-old woman whose 79-year-old mother suffered from Alzheimer's disease and was admitted to the facility in November 2010 after being injured in a fall.

According to court documents, when the woman was discharged less than three weeks later, her daughter realized she was taking a long list of powerful drugs like Zoloft, Ativan and Haldol. The woman's daughter had no knowledge of the prescriptions and had not given consent. The lawsuit alleges that these drugs played a role in the woman's deterioration and ultimately her death in January 2011. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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