Nearly four million elderly people are victims of some form of abuse or neglect. In most cases the abuse or neglect takes place while they are residents of a nursing home. Legal action can be taken in behalf of an elderly person who is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. However, it is important to know is legally responsible for the abuse or neglect. This article will discuss third party legally liable for nursing home injuries, abuse and neglect.
Third Party Liability
Often people assume that all nursing home abuse and injury are the legal fault of the nursing home. However, there are other parties that may be responsible.
This can be shown in the following example:
Jane has suffered a bone fracture. The general assumption is that a nursing staff member intentionally or negligently injured her. However, there may be other causes than that one. It may be that the wheelchair she uses caused the injury. Or, a medical device or gurney malfunctioned thus causing the injury. Therefore, there are a number of parties that may be responsible:
- The nursing home staff member who may have failed to use the medical equipment properly
- An outside contractor (third party who failed to properly maintain the equipment
- Improperly manufactured wheelchair
- Product design of the wheelchair may have been flawed
As shown in the above example third parties may be responsible or may share responsibility in some situations. However, some areas where responsibility is shared or solely the third parties may involve:
- Failure to properly dispense medication by automated equipment
- Where physical therapy machinery or tools break or malfunction
- Food suppliers supply food that causes food poisoning
- An outside contractor who is responsible for kitchen sanitization may be responsible for food poisoning too
- Trespassers enter property and injure or abuse residents – if an outside security contractor provides security services, they are liable for negligent delivery of security services