Nursing Home Resident's Deadly Fall Leaves Facility With $100,000 Fine

State public health officials have fined one nursing home $100,000 after an investigation concluded that the death of a resident in the summer of 2009 could have been avoided had the resident received adequate care. The fine is largest amount allowable.

State investigators alleged the facility failed to protect the 58-year-old male resident when he unbuckled the safety strap on his wheel chair and fell forward onto the floor. The man had been known to take off the safety strap in the past, the investigative report indicated. The man also had demonstrated behavioral outbursts and physical aggression, which requires one-on-one monitoring, according to facility policy. But the victim was not receiving one-on-one monitoring at the time of his fall.

The man suffered two cervical fractures as a result of the fall. He was taken by ambulance to an acute-care hospital, where he died two days later. Employees at the nursing home say they were shocked when they learned the man had died. The facility plans to begin the appeals process before the week's end.  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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