Will Be Heard
STEVE CRANE JR is the Attorney that gets you justice for NuRSING HOME AND ELDER abuse.
NURSING HOME & ELDER ABUSE
STEVE CRANE JR SECURES JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF NURSING HOME & ELDER ABUSE.
Leaving an elderly family member or loved one in the care of a nursing home, assisted living facility or a professional caregiver is hard.
No one should ever have to later discover that their loved one was neglected of basic needs and necessities such as food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and essential medical care. Similarly, neglect can come in the form of humiliation or disrespect, verbal and non-verbal threats, harassment, and geographic or interpersonal isolation.
Abuse and neglect can leave seniors with long-term injuries or permanent disabilities. Physical abuse may also contribute to their death in some cases.
STEVE CRANE JR. HOLDS ABUSERS ACCOUNTABLE
Elder abuse, neglect and exploitation are behaviors wrongly committed against elder or vulnerable adults who are unable to protect themselves due to a mental or physical impairment or due to advanced age.
Perpetrators are often trusted family, friends, neighbors or caregivers. This can occur in the person’s home, in the home of another person or in licensed settings such as adult foster care homes for the aged or nursing homes.
Steve is relentless in his pursuit of being the survivor’s champion. Why? What lit this intense fire in him?
Early in his life, Steve witnessed pre-teens and teens being bullied, hazed and attacked by other pre-teens and teens. The perpetrators attacked because they could. They had power and dominance, while the victims did not. For each attack, Steve stepped in and stopped it. Steve has always remained vigilant, highly insightful, compassionate, approachable, tolerant, and understanding the pain endured by others.
Steve is personally and professionally driven to help victims of past and present sex abuse, bullying, hazing and physical assaults to find safety, to recover and put their lives back together. He is truly a comforting light – assuring protection, and safety in addition to winning the financial compensation his clients deserve for their pain and loss.
If you or a loved one is a victim nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact experienced and respected attorney Steve Crane. He and his team can assess the facts of your case and help you in a trusted, private and secure manner determine the best course of action to move forward.
ARE YOU OR A LOVED ONE A VICTIM OF ELDER ABUSE OR NEGLECT? DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS DIED AS A RESULT OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT?
Steve Crane can help you too. He represents assault and abuse victims and survivors. He will help you find justice.
Steve is personally and professionally driven to help victims of past and present sexual assault, sexual abuse, bullying, hazing and physical assaults to find safety, to recover and put their lives back together. He is truly a comforting light – assuring protection, and safety in addition to winning the financial compensation his clients deserve for their pain and loss.
Contact Steve Crane and Crane Law now and be assured he and his team will discretely and in full confidence discuss your issue. Steve and his team provide a safe and secure environment for you to discuss your needs with an attorney.
To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call us at (833) 855-4400.
Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Quick Links
What is Elder Abuse & Neglect?
Physical elder abuse and neglect is any form of violence or harm that leaves an older person significantly injured. These injuries may require months of recovery or even contribute to an elder’s death.
Physical abuse against the elderly may be perpetrated by family members, friends, nursing home staff members, or other residents. This form of elder abuse may happen regularly or just once. Sadly, since older people’s bodies are weaker, even a single instance of abuse can lead to long-term health problems or death.
If you suspect that an elderly person is at risk from a neglectful or overwhelmed caregiver, or being preyed upon financially, it’s important to speak up. Contact Steve Crane and Crane Law now and be assured he and his team will discretely and in full confidence discuss your issue. Steve and his team provide a safe and secure environment for you to discuss your needs with an attorney.
Wrongful death legal actions can arise out of grave injury inflicted by the negligence or wrongful act of another. Elder abuse and neglect can give rise to a wrongful death civil lawsuit when an elder loved one suffers fatal injuries from physical abuse or neglect. The emotional toll of any kind of abuse can cause harm, as well. Abuse victims may become depressed or lose the desire to live, leading to self-destructive behavior. Victims of elder neglect can suffer harm or death due to malnutrition, dehydration, not receiving required medications, falls, infected bedsores, wandering off alone, or lack of medical attention.
The wrongful death of an elder loved one could be the result of medical malpractice. Medication errors can be fatal. Poor handwriting on a prescription, misdiagnosis, and prescribing drugs with interactions are just a few ways practitioners can harm patients through medication error. On the caregiver end, misreading a label, failing to give the proper dose, missing doses, or giving unauthorized medications are common mistakes that can have irreparable consequences.
Survivors of an elder loved one may be able to sue for economic and non-economic damages. Eligibility to bring a lawsuit depends largely on your relationship to the deceased.
A claim may be brought to court as a wrongful death case if it involves a death “caused by wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another.” (MCL 600.2922) Michigan law allows family members to recover damages in a wrongful death claim, it limits which family members may receive damages. In Michigan, the following family members of the deceased person can seek compensation via a wrongful death claim:
- spouse and children
- parents and grandparents
- brothers and sisters
- children of the deceased person’s spouse, and
- anyone who is left property in the deceased person’s will.
Contact Steve Crane and Crane Law now and be assured he and his team will discretely and in full confidence discuss your issue. Steve and his team provide a safe and secure environment for you to discuss your case.
Types of Elder Abuse & Neglect
Abuse of elders takes many different forms, some involving intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and others involving financial trickery. The most common are:
Physical elder abuse – The non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, impairment or even death. Such abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving but the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.
Emotional elder abuse – The treatment of an older adult in ways that cause emotional or psychological pain or distress, including:
- Intimidation through yelling or threats
- Humiliation and ridicule
- Habitual blaming or scapegoating
- Ignoring the elderly person
- Isolating an elder from friends or activities
- Terrorizing or menacing the elderly person
Sexual elder abuse – Contact with an elderly person without their consent. Such contact can involve physical sex acts, but activities such as showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts, or forcing the elder to undress are also considered sexual elder abuse.
Elder neglect – Failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation. This constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial that an elderly charge needs as much care as they do.
Gross negligence – A conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both. It is conduct that is extreme when compared with ordinary Negligence, which is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care.
Financial exploitation – The unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, either by a caregiver or an outside scam artist. An unscrupulous caregiver might:
- Misuse an elder’s personal checks, credit cards, or accounts
- Steal cash, income checks, or household goods
- Forge the elder’s signature
- Engage in identity theft
Typical scams that target elders include:
- Announcement of a “prize” that the elderly person has won but must pay money to claim
- Phony charities
- Investment fraud
Healthcare fraud and abuse – Carried out by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers. This can include:
- Not providing healthcare, but charging for it
- Overcharging or double billing for medical care or services
- Getting kickbacks for referrals to other providers or for prescribing certain drugs
- Overmedicating or under-medicating
- Recommending fraudulent remedies for illnesses or other medical conditions
- Medicaid fraud
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse & Neglect
Signs of elder abuse can be difficult to recognize or mistaken for symptoms of dementia or the elderly person’s frail or caregivers may explain them to you that way. In fact, many of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse do overlap with symptoms of mental deterioration, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them on the caregiver’s say-so.
Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person or changes in the personality or behavior in the elder can be broad signals of elder abuse. If you suspect abuse, but aren’t sure, you can look for clusters of the following warning signs.
Physical abuse warning signs:
- Unexplained signs of injury, such as bruises, welts, or scars, especially if they appear symmetrically on two sides of the body
- Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
- A report of drug overdose or an apparent failure to take medication regularly (a prescription has more remaining than it should)
- Broken eyeglasses or frames
- Signs of being restrained, such as rope marks on wrists
- Caregiver’s refusal to allow you to see the elder alone
Emotional abuse warning signs:
- Threatening, belittling, or controlling caregiver behavior
- Behavior from the elder that mimics dementia, such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling to themselves
Sexual abuse warning signs:
- Bruises around breasts or genitals
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
Elder neglect or self-neglect warning signs:
- Unusual weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration
- Untreated physical problems, such as bed sores
- Unsanitary living conditions: dirt, bugs, soiled bedding and clothes
- Being left dirty or unbathed
- Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather
- Unsafe living conditions (no heat or running water; faulty electrical wiring; other fire hazards)
- Desertion of the elder at a public place
Financial exploitation warning signs:
- Significant withdrawals from the elder’s accounts
- Sudden changes in the elder’s financial condition
- Items or cash missing from the senior’s household
- Suspicious changes in wills, power of attorney, titles, and policies
- Addition of names to the senior’s signature card
- Financial activity the senior couldn’t have undertaken, such as an ATM withdrawal when the account holder is bedridden
- Unnecessary services, goods, or subscriptions
Healthcare fraud or abuse warning signs
- Duplicate billings for the same medical service or device
- Evidence of overmedication or under-medication
- Evidence of inadequate care when bills are paid in full
- Problems with the care facility: poorly trained, poorly paid, or insufficient staff; crowding; inadequate responses to questions about care
Elder Abuse, Neglect & Wrongful Death in the Age of COVID-19 and Other Pandemics
Nearly 97,000 residents and staff from America’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities have tested positive for COVID-19, with over 16,000 residents and staff member deaths, representing roughly a quarter of the nation’s overall deaths. Federal and state laws are in place to protect nursing home residents’ basic rights and ensure they are free from abuse and neglect in their living situation. Common forms of abuse include “unintentional abuse” and may be relevant to wrongful death from COVID-19 treatments in Michigan nursing homes.
In the 2009, the Swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus appeared. A later study suggested it was first diagnosed in humans in Mexico. The CDC estimated that from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, there were 60.8 million H1N1 cases, with 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the U.S. alone. Like the COVID-19 pandemic, many deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities may have resulted in lack of medical care in response in H1H1.
If a nursing home accepts Medicare, the nursing home must follow Federal Regulations, which set forth industry’s standard of care. One of these regulations Federal Regulations is 42 CFR sec. 483.25(d)(1), which provides the facility ensure a resident’s environment remains as free of hazards as possible and adequate supervision is provided, along with a provision of providing adequate medical treatment in line with the current medical standard of care.
If unintentional neglect due to methods of treating COVID-19 or another novel virus led to a wrongful death of a loved one, a family may be compensated if they can prove that negligence was involved.
Here are a few additional national statistics to consider:
- According to the Institute on Aging, one in 10 elders will experience physical, psychological, or sexual violence, neglect, or financial exploitation.
- The Institute on Aging also reports that 80% of women with disabilities will be sexually abused at some point in their lifetimes.
- According to RAINN, only 28% of elderly victims report sexual abuse to the authorities.
A 2017 investigation found more than 1,000 nursing homes in the country had been cited for mishandling suspected cases of sexual abuse and rape.
Suspect Abuse, Neglect or Wrongful Death? Here’s What You Can Do.
Elder abuse will not stop on its own. Someone else needs to step in and help. Many older adults are too ashamed to report mistreatment. Or, they’re afraid if they make a report it will get back to the abuser and make the situation worse.
If you think someone you know is being abused, physically, emotionally, or financially, talk with him or her when the two of you are alone. You could say you think something is wrong and you’re worried. Offer to take him or her to get help, for instance, at a local adult protective services agency.
Contact the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) Adult Protective Services at 855-444-3911, if you suspect elder or vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred in:
- A private residence,
- An unlicensed setting such as an assisted living facility,
- An adult foster care home,
- A home for the aged, or
- A nursing home where the suspected perpetrator is not an employee of the facility or the resident is on leave from the nursing home.
If you are a mandated reporter, you must report any suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult to Adult Protective Services by calling 855-444-3911. A mandated reporter is a person who is employed, licensed, registered, or certified to provide health care, educational, social welfare, mental health, or other human services; an employee of an agency licensed to provide health care, educational, social welfare, mental health, or other human services; a law enforcement officer; or an employee of the office of the county medical examiner.
For anyone who is not a mandated reporter, you may still report suspected elder or vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation to Adult Protective Services by calling 855-444-3911. To report abuse in a nursing facility, call the Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division on their statewide hotline, 800-24-ABUSE (800-242-2873).
MAKE A JOURNAL
Document the Elder Abuse by taking photographs, if possible, and make written statements concerning:
- What you observed,
- When you observed the incident,
- Who was present, and
- Any further information that may be of assistance.
If you think someone is in urgent danger, call 911 or your local police to get help right away.
Exploring Your Legal Options
The law allows two areas of recourse for victims of elder abuse and neglect: Criminal litigation and civil litigation.
Criminal litigation is overseen by the county prosecutor who focuses on determining the guilt of a suspect and punishing wrongdoers according to the law. Once you file a police report, the officer in charge will gather evidence and make a recommendation to the local prosecutor whether the case has enough merit to pursue. If accepted by the prosecutor, the criminal charges will proceed as The State of Michigan v. Defendant to be named. The prosecutor must be confident that he or she can prove your narrative of events “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The final resolution may include fines paid to the state, a prison sentence, and probationary monitoring.
You may elect to file a civil lawsuit in addition to pressing criminal charges. An unsuccessful criminal lawsuit does not preclude a person from pursuing civil litigation. If the defendant is found liable for causing injury and loss, financial restitution will be ordered by the courts, paid directly to the victim. In addition to the individual perpetrator, parties with knowledge of the abuse or neglect who failed to take reasonable steps to report or stop it can be held liable as well.
Elders may file a civil lawsuit to obtain compensation to cover medical expenses, therapy for psychological damage, loss of enjoyment in life, and emotional trauma. Living spouses can file a separate claim for loss of consortium.
What is the Deadline for Filing an Elder Abuse & Neglect Civil Lawsuit?
The “statute of limitations” is a term used by courts to describe the maximum amount of time plaintiffs can wait before bringing a lawsuit after the events they are suing over took place. This time limit is set by state law and is intended to promote fairness and keep old cases from clogging the courts.
The period of limitations is 3 years after the time of the death or injury for all actions to recover damages for the death of a person or for injury to a person or property. See Mich. Comp. Law 600.5805(2).
Because Michigan’s Wrongful Death Act does not include a statute of limitations, the statute of limitations for the underlying cause of action (i.e., negligence) applies. In the case of wrongful death actions based on general negligence, the statute of limitations the general 3-year statute of limitations for injury to person or property when reviewing. See Mich. Comp. Law 600.5805(2).
The statute of limitations varies for sexual abuse (which includes criminal sexual conduct). See Mich. Comp. Law 600.5805(6). Affords adult victims 10 years from the most recent incident of sexual abuse to bring a case against the abuser.
Assault & Battery
The period of limitation is 2 years for an action charging assault, battery, or false imprisonment. See Mich Comp. Law 600.5805(6).
DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this blog or on this website should be construed as legal advice from Crane Law PLLC or Steve Crane, Esq. Neither your receipt of information from this website nor your use of this website to contact Crane Law PLLC or Steve Crane, Esq. creates an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm or any of its lawyers. No reader of this website should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this website without seeking the appropriate legal advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s jurisdiction.