In Florida, the family of a woman who died following a fall at her nursing home is suing the home for what they believe is her wrongful death.
Jacksonville news source News4Jax reports that Nadine McBurnett was not given timely medical care after her fall at a facility on Old St. Augustine Road called Terrace of Jacksonville, and that her family believes this led to her death last January. As a result, the family has issued an intent to sue letter to the nursing home.
When a nursing home assistant began to change the sheets on Nadine McBurnett’s bed, the bed railing designed to prevent her from falling was pulled down. Mc. Burnett fell out of the bed and suffered severe injuries, but according to her daughter Patte Wallace, workers simply cleaned her mother up and put her back in bed. She reports that the family was not notified of the incident for at least three hours.
"(She was) just laying there totally out, totally unconscious, no response, covered up and cleaned up, and it wasn’t until we got her to the hospital that I realized she had a broken hip," Wallace said.
Once the family was notified of the fall, they had McBurnett transferred to a local hospital for examination. Her daughter says that the woman was covered in bruises, and ambulance drivers say that she had "a large 4-5 inch long and 1.5-2 inch wide hematoma beginning just above her right eye." Once examined by doctors, it was determined that McBurnett had also broken a hip. She died roughly a month after the fall.
According to Wallace and other members of the late woman’s family, McBurnett was a large woman and required two attendants to help her get around. At the time of the fall, she was only attended by one person.
Wallace’s attorney says that footage from a video camera placed outside McBurnett’s room door has been deleted. He told reporters, "We know that there was a video in the hallway that showed the certified nursing assistant and the nurse going in and out of the room and their state of mind. I’ve learned in the discovery process so far that the facility has destroyed that videotape, and we believe it’s an effort to hide what happened and hide who’s accountable."
Wallace and her family believe that it was her mother’s age and frail state which caused attendants to believe no one would notice the sub-standard care she got at the facility as well as a lack of action by the facility after her fall. "If this has been a child, if this had been a teenager, if this had been a young mom, or excuse me, if this had been a dog and this happened to them, this would be outrage. This would be everywhere," Wallace said. "But this is an old lady who looks pathetic right there, and they see her as no value."
At this time, officials from Terrace of Jacksonville have not publicly commented on McBurnett’s care or on the lawsuit.
When families make the difficult decision to entrust the care of their loved ones to a nursing home, they do so with the understanding that these individuals will get quality care. Sadly, this is often not the case and nursing home neglect and abuse are epidemic in our nation and in the state of Florida. As experienced nursing home abuse attorneys, we are dedicated to ensuring that our ill and elderly loved ones are given the care they deserve and to holding all negligent parties fully responsible for any improprieties. To learn more about nursing home abuse lawsuits, please contact us today for a free legal consultation in Florida.