The realization that a loved one requires full-time nursing care is often difficult one for families. They typically look for a nursing home that can provide the care and supervision their loved one requires. Sadly, when these facilities fail to meet their obligations, Arizona families may have recourse to file a medical malpractice claim in an effort to seek justice for their loved one.
Recently, one family filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the nursing facility that was charged with caring for a man with severe dementia. The patient was suffering from the ailment due to a prior heart attack. He had been a resident of the facility for several years before he managed to wander off the premises. The nursing home failed to report the man's disappearance in a timely manner to either local police or to relatives.
Twelve hours after the resident left, his body was found huddled up next to a trash receptacle approximately four miles from the home. During the hours before he was reported missing, police were informed of a man wandering in the dark in dark clothing nearing a highway on-ramp. When they reported to the location, they found the gentleman, who requested a ride to a nearby town. Officers obliged and dropped him off without realizing that he was a resident of the home.
Tragically, the man died as a result of exposure to the cold. Family members claim that the man could have been returned safely to the facility had staff informed police that he was missing. The lawsuit alleges that staff were negligent in allowing the man to leave the secure location. Medical malpractice can take many forms, including negligence that leads to greater harm or death. Arizona residents whose loved ones have suffered harm may have grounds to pursue a civil case of their own.