Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Defense
Nursing home residents and their families may litigate against the same facilities and staff that have provided devoted care for them, sometimes for many years. In some cases, a lapse of care is perceived when there has been none, or a claimant's harm may be wildly exaggerated. At St. Denis & Davey, our Florida nursing home defense attorneys can provide a strong defense to claims brought against nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the state. We understand that receiving an adverse outcome at trial may damage your reputation, and we work hard to resolve a case as promptly as possible, while advocating for an outcome that serves your business goals. Our medical malpractice defense lawyers also represent health care providers who are facing claims based on allegations of professional negligence. We have offices in Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and Panama City.Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Defense
Under Florida Statute 400.022, nursing home residents in Florida can expect that their homes provide them with certain basic rights. Nursing home residents may pursue civil action in case of a violation of legal rights under Florida Statute 400.023.
Many plaintiffs in nursing home and assisted living facility litigation claim that an elderly or vulnerable person has been subject to violations of these rights. However, some of these cases are not legitimate, or the abuse claimed may be overstated. Sometimes family members have not actually witnessed any abuse or neglect, and an elderly person has made no accusation. In some cases, these family members are simply inferring abuse or neglect based on certain signs or symptoms that are common even when appropriate care has been taken. For example, bed sores may occur even in the absence of neglect.
In Florida, plaintiffs in a nursing home abuse case must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant owed a duty to a nursing home resident, this duty was violated, the breach caused the plaintiff's harm, and quantifiable damages resulted. Depending on the situation, any or all of these elements may be challenged.
For example, a plaintiff might present a case in which a nursing home resident died due to a pulmonary embolism. The plaintiff may argue that the nursing home staff should have caught the pulmonary embolism earlier and provided medical care for the resident. However, there are many cases in which a pulmonary embolism is not suspected for good reasons, and reasonable staff members could not have known that the symptoms being described were indicative of a pulmonary embolism. In such cases, the fact that the nursing home staff did not consult a doctor in that specialty probably was not the cause of the patient's death.
In other cases, a plaintiff fails to establish all of the elements according to the appropriate standard of care. When a plaintiff is legally unable to establish one of these elements, it may be possible to file a motion for summary judgment to get the case dismissed. This would prevent our client from being exposed to any liability or damages.
Sometimes attacking causation through credible expert testimony may be appropriate. For example, a family member suing for injuries arising out of a nursing home resident suffering a slip and fall may not be able to show that a practice or policy by the nursing home resulted in the accident. If a plaintiff is walking around the grounds during the appropriate hours but nonetheless trips on a clearly visible or marked hazard and gets hurt because of their clumsiness, there may not have been anything that the nursing home could have done to prevent that accident. In other words, if the injury was not caused by the nursing home's negligence but by the plaintiff's own carelessness, the nursing home may have a strong defense.Contact a Nursing Home Defense Lawyer to Explore Your Legal Options
The lawyers at St. Denis & Davey have experience providing knowledgeable legal representation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in cities across Florida. Our defense attorneys focus on seeking the early resolution of claims, aiming for dismissals or settlements of cases when it would be beneficial for our clients. Call us at (800) 785-2153 or (800) 775-8571 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We also represent property owners who need a premises liability defense lawyer and provide advocacy in litigation related to insurance defense, construction defect defense, dealership defense, and labor and employment defense.