Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



Nursing home abuse could be avoided through background checks

A large amount of forethought goes into placing a family member in a nursing home. Some of the considerations are the safety of the facility and the level of care provided. Family members may even look into the hiring practices of the nursing home to ensure that the resident will be in good hands.
For New York families who are considering placing a loved one in a nursing home, the results of a recent investigation may be disturbing in that they indicate that nursing home abuse is more common than many realize.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted the investigation of over 1,600 nurse aides who all had something in common: They had been disciplined for nursing home abuse, neglect or theft. The shocking part is that almost 20 percent of these aides had a criminal conviction on their record — the types of convictions that a background check would have produced.
But somehow, those convicted criminals were taking care of nursing home residents. Some of the crimes were of a serious nature, including battery, assault and even rape, while others were crimes against property, not a person.
Nursing aides are different from registered nurses. Many nursing homes do not have the money to staff enough registered nurses, so nursing aides pick up the slack. Aides work at minimum wage and only require a short amount of training.
Regardless of the level of staff, nursing homes owe a duty of care to their residents, and this duty extends to the hiring of employees. If a resident shows signs of abuse, neglect or malnourishment as the result of negligent hiring, the resident may be able to sue the facility for his or her injuries. Failure to run a simple background check may be one sign of negligent hiring practices.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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