Making the decision to place a loved one in the care of a nursing home is not always easy, but oftentimes it is the only way to ensure that an aging loved one’s daily physical and medical needs are met. As one family from Illinois has found out, however, sometimes a loved one in a nursing home passes away not from natural causes, but due to the alleged actions of another.
An Illinois family is suing a nurse and nursing home in connection to the death of a 98-year-old woman. The woman was reportedly given a fatal amount of morphine by the nurse who, according to the lawsuit, was the sole nurse on duty at the time. The incident took place back in February. Six nursing home residents were hospitalized with having morphine in their bodies. The other five residents survived.
The nurse has claimed that she did not administer morphine to the victim. However, according to a deposition, the nurse did know where the morphine was kept and that she noticed it there. The lawsuit claims the nursing home was negligent because the nurse in question had only served nine shifts with this nursing home, had an expired nursing license and was not properly trained.
It remains to be seen what the result of this lawsuit will be. The nursing home and the victim’s family are cooperating with the authorities as they perform an investigation. However, it is an unfortunate fact that in some cases, negligent hiring or supervision in nursing homes can lead to a resident’s death. Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable, due to their age and often weakened physical and mental conditions. It is important that all nursing home staff members have the proper training and credentials to perform their job. If they do not, and a resident dies, it may lead to a wrongful death suit.
Source: CBS Chicago, “Family Of Nursing Home Resident Who Died From Morphine Overdose To File Lawsuit,” Dorothy Tucker, Oct. 6, 2015