In today’s tightened economy, many for-profit businesses – including nursing homes and preschool daycare centers – have adopted a policy of placing profitability and accident probability above basic safety precautions. When businesses cut corners, it never bodes well for the unwitting consumer. But when the lives of vulnerable children and the elderly hang in the balance, understaffing becomes an even greater concern. All too frequently, our nursing home abuse attorneys see cases where understaffing has led to dire consequences for the victims.
Tennessee Supreme Court Rules Against Nursing Home
When we trust our loved ones to the care of another, whether it be a nursing home or preschool facility, the consequences of accidents caused by understaffing and inadequate supervision can be catastrophic or even fatal. Care facilities owe patrons a duty to provide adequate supervision, including but not limited to protecting them from falls, violence, and hazardous premises. But when these facilities lack the human resources to ensure safe operation, the people who are meant to be cared for can end up being neglected, ignored, or even physically abused.
It’s a matter of simple logic: if there are too few employees to do the job properly, the work will not get done, and/or the quality of the work will be diminished. Not only is this line of thinking basic common sense; it’s been confirmed within the scope of the law as well. In a unanimous decision, the Tennessee Supreme Court recently upheld a jury verdict against a nursing home corporate manager regarding the wrongful death of one of the home’s residents. The death was caused by insufficient staffing levels, which led to deviations in the industry standard for reasonable care. This diminished level of care – a direct result of understaffing – ultimately resulted in the resident’s death. Had the facility elected to pay for additional staff members instead of taking financial shortcuts, this death could have been avoided.
But the elderly aren’t the only victims of inadequate supervision outside the home. On the opposite end of the age spectrum, many parents have raised concerns about understaffing in preschools. Lack of supervision in understaffed facilities is the leading cause of daycare accidents and injuries. Daycare facilities and nursing homes may owe their clients the utmost duty to protect their safety, but unfortunately, many owners and operators of daycare centers and nursing homes fail to do so.
For example, these facilities frequently fail to provide adequate background checks for the very employees who are entrusted with other human beings’ lives. To make matters worse, many nursing home and daycare workers are not extensively trained, and the resultant behavior exhibits low standards for safety and cleanliness. In the most extreme cases, employees may even commit criminal behavior, including brutal physical abuse.
The minimum qualifications for caretakers at nursing homes and pre-school child care centers vary from state to state. But even with this variation in standards and regulations, negligence in nursing homes and child care centers is a universal crisis. Sadly, it’s a problem which affects the most helpless members of our society.
Have You Been Hurt by Negligent Care?
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or harm in a nursing home or daycare center and the consequence of the negligence resulted in serious injury or death, you don’t have to face your problems alone. You should contact an experienced attorney to investigate all areas of negligent behavior and liability. In many instances, nursing home and daycare abuse results in extreme financial, physical, and emotional hardship, and the victim and their family may be entitled to substantial compensation.
The child abuse and nursing home abuse attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm have been recognized as top lawyers in the United States and in Pennsylvania. We have over 35 years of experience prosecuting liability claims, and always offer a free, no-obligation consultation. For a private case evaluation with one of our highly experienced personal injury lawyers, call the law offices of The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000, or contact us online.