Choking Deaths In Nursing Homes: A Wrongful Death Nightmare


Placing a loved one in a nursing home is always a tough decision, but there often comes a time when it has to be done. Unfortunately, this decision can be harder to accept when a loved one suffers an accident by choking to death in the home. Is a wrongful death lawsuit possible in this situation? Yes, it is very likely that a grieving loved one could sue — not that this will bring their loved one back.

Accidental Deaths at Nursing Homes Are Always Suspicious

Death happens all the time at nursing homes — many who stay there are at the end of their life or suffering terminal illnesses — but sudden and accidental deaths always raise some eyebrows. A senior choking to death when eating seems like it would be impossible in a well-staffed home.

However, this situation can easily happen and will immediately cause a furor when it does. Most families are going to be seriously consider a wrongful death lawsuit in this situation. If they do, it is critical to make sure that they understand how to prove their case. 

Proving Wrongful Death

When a senior unexpectedly chokes to death in a nursing home, it may be a wrongful death situation. First of all, it is important to prove that the defendant — the nursing home — owed a duty of care to the senior. Clearly, they do in this situation. Next, it is important to show that there was a breach of duty caused by the defendant that lead directly to the senior's death. Here's where things get tricky.

If the senior chocked to death alone in their room, it could be argued that the facility did not provide proper supervision for them at all times. Or if they choked in a dining hall, the argument may go that the staff did not provide proper first aid or attention to the situation. But like with any type of case like this, it is necessary to gather evidence to prove that this situation developed in the way showcased by the plaintiff.

For example, eye-witness testimony stating that nurses did nothing to help the senior or did first aid improperly may be good enough to win. And if the person who choked to death had been isolated from others as punishment and was known to have a tendency to choke, a wrongful death lawsuit is much easier to win, even though no amount of money can ease the pain of losing a loved one.

For more information, talk to a wrongful death accident attorney near you.


22 January 2020

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