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West Virginia nursing home sued over patient's death

A woman has filed a lawsuit accusing a Hilltop nursing home of negligence in the death of a relative. The suit, which was filed Aug. 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court, seeks wrongful death damages against Genesis Healthcare LCC and its various entities.

According to the lawsuit, a male relative of the plaintiff was a resident of Hilltop Center, which is operated by Pennsylvania-based Genesis Healthcare, from June 10 to June 30, 2013. While in the facility's care, the relative allegedly suffered an infection that progressed to septic shock, which caused his death on July 3, 2013. The plaintiff contends the operators of Hilltop promised a level of care for her relative that they knew could not be met with their available staff and budget.

The lawsuit accuses Genesis Healthcare of negligence, medical malpractice, corporate negligence, reckless disregard for safety, fraud and other charges. The plaintiff seeks litigation costs and damages.

People depend on nursing homes to provide competent, consistent care for loved ones who are unable to care for themselves. Unfortunately, nursing homes do not always meet the standard of care they are expected to meet. Making matters worse is the fact that patients are not always able to speak up about the neglect or abuse they suffer.

Family members may be able to recognize signs of nursing home neglect, which include bedsores or other untreated wounds, soiled clothes or bedding, fearfulness, poor hygiene, unexplained weight loss, dehydration, unauthorized financial transactions and more. If someone suspects a loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect, they might want to contact an attorney. A lawyer may be able to use nursing home records and medical evidence to evaluate the case and recommend the best course of legal action.

Source: The West Virginia Record, "Woman accuses nursing home of fatal neglect", Annie Cosby, October 14, 2014

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