Nursing home injury cases are always tragic. When you have one of the country’s most vulnerable populations suffering injuries at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them, people must be held accountable. The criminal court system handles criminal charges that lead to fines and jail time, but what about the victims? The only way the victims can be compensated for the harm they have suffered is through a personal injury lawsuit.
It’s not always the actual employee who is held accountable in a nursing home injury lawsuit. In some cases, the nursing home administration is liable. To discuss your case in greater detail, call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612.
What is Negligent Hiring?
While a CNA or PCW who neglects or abuses a nursing home resident is obviously responsible for their own actions, other parties may also have some liability. This is true if negligent hiring practices are uncovered in the course of an investigation.
To put it simply, a nursing home is responsible for the quality of employees it hires. If you’ve worked in certain industries or in a struggling business, you’ve likely witnessed firsthand a downslide in hiring practices. A place may start off requiring a certain type of degree, a specific amount of experience, a clear background check, and a clear drug screen.
For some reason—often low pay, poor working conditions, or a competitive labor market—the business cannot hire or keep employees that meet these requirements. They start considering employees who might not have the right amount of education or who don’t have any experience in the field.
Eventually, the background check and drug screen requirements may become optional. If a business hires an employee that reasonable hiring processes would have ruled out, the business may then be liable for any actions taken by that employee.
In a nursing home setting, that can mean several different things. First, the employer must verify an employee’s licensure or certification. If they take an applicant at their word and fail to check their status, they may hire an employee whose CNA certification has been revoked due to patient abuse. That is negligent hiring.
Second, they must take reasonable steps to protect residents from abusive or negligent caretakers. This generally means running background checks, conducting drug screens, and getting references from past employers. Skipping these steps leaves a nursing home open to a lawsuit.
Understanding Negligent Supervision
Negligent supervision occurs when an employee should have reasonably known that a resident would be harmed in a situation but did not take steps to keep that resident safe. Consider, for example, a resident who is known for pulling hair and striking out at other residents. For other residents’ safety, that resident is required to sit at least two seats apart from other residents. An employee does not follow these rules, and as a result, another resident is seriously injured.
Another example: one resident makes romantic or sexual advances on another resident, who repeatedly rebuffs them. A CNA entrusted with their care leaves them alone to go take care of another task, and the second resident is sexually assaulted by the first. In both cases, the staff member should have known that their decisions would lead to a resident being injured. By failing to take steps to protect the residents, they engaged in negligent supervision.
How These Issues Can Affect a Nursing Home Injury Claim
Negligent supervision or hiring may make it easier for you to secure a settlement in a nursing home abuse claim. Nursing home administrators have an obligation to their residents, and when they fail to fulfill that obligation, they must be held accountable. If your attorney can prove negligent hiring or supervision, it is much more difficult for the nursing home’s business or liability insurance provider to deny liability. Your attorney will know what type of evidence to look for to prove negligent hiring or supervision.
Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey for Help with Your Injury Claim
If someone you love has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you are likely angry and looking for justice. You need a strong advocate who can fight for you and your loved one. At Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, we believe in holding negligent care providers accountable. Let’s talk about your case and how we can help. Call us at 251-432-0612 or contact our team online.