As our bodies decline, we may need help in certain behaviors that we can’t do on our own anymore. One of these may be eating or swallowing. It is part of a nursing home’s job to monitor patients while they eat to prevent choking hazards.
A nursing home in California was fined the maximum amount, $100,000 in that state, for a resident’s death after she choked. The patient had a habit of not chewing her food before swallowing it. She was encouraged to eat slower and to alternate between foods and liquids, but the patient would not listen to the advice.
One day, the staff found her on the floor. They removed a piece of chicken from her throat. She suffered heart failure and died six days later.
The nursing home has since taken changes to help patients who have problems swallowing. They are now placed in a separate dining room where workers can watch them more carefully. All workers have also been trained to recognize when patients have trouble swallowing.
California seemed to think that the circumstances were terrible enough to levy the maximum fine, but would it have passed muster if a family sued the nursing home for neglect? That depends on state laws, the full circumstances, and the skills of the lawyers.
If you need a nursing home abuse lawyer on your side and you live in the state of Georgia, call Schenk Smith Trial Attorneys for a free consultation.