Elderly and disabled individuals may live in nursing homes to receive the around-the-clock care that they need. Part of this care involves monitoring and ensuring their safety. However, residents who are given food which is not prepared correctly for safe consumption or are not supervised while eating are at a higher risk for choking.
Under these circumstances, nursing home and cafeteria staff can be held liable in a civil suit with the help of a skilled nursing home abuse attorney. If your loved one was injured or passed away as a result of poorly prepared food, you should contact a seasoned West Palm Beach nursing home choking lawyer for legal assistance.
Residents’ Rights as Defined by State Law
Florida Statute §400.023 affords nursing home residents the right to file a civil suit against a facility or its staff on the basis of negligence. Additionally, if a resident dies as a direct result of a nursing home’s negligence, their family may file a wrongful death case on their behalf, under FL Stat. §768.21. An experienced West Palm Beach nursing home choking attorney can file a lawsuit on behalf of an injured resident, their guardian, or a personal representative of their estate if they are deceased.
A Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof
The nursing home and its staff have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care with each resident, which is defined by state law as a that which a reasonably careful licensee, individual, or entity would use under similar circumstances.
It is a claimant’s responsibility to establish that a resident’s rights were violated or that staff acted negligently and thereby caused otherwise avoidable injury or death. To win their case, a plaintiff must prove that:
- The defendant(s) owed a duty of care to the resident
- Staff members breached this duty
- Their breach caused foreseeable injury, wrongful death, or damages
A dedicated nursing home choking lawyer in West Palm Beach can help prove that responsible parties did not act with reasonable care.
A Nursing Home’s Breach of Duty
Nursing home residents are especially susceptible to choking, as some need their food prepared a certain way. For example, chopped or pureed food, as well as thick liquids, can help avoid choking. Staff members who serve ill-prepared food may be held liable in a civil claim for damages.
Nursing home faculty should supervise residents during mealtimes. Doing so would allow them to promptly recognize the signs and symptoms of choking and attempt to clear a resident’s airway.
Contact a West Palm Beach Nursing Home Choking Attorney Today
Regardless of a person’s age, choking is usually preventable and can be stopped with intervention. This makes choking incidents in nursing homes all the more concerning. When a resident chokes in a nursing home, an investigation should be conducted to determine how it happened and how it could have been prevented.
A knowledgeable West Palm Beach nursing home choking lawyer can collect evidence to help a jury understand how your loved one was needlessly injured at the hands of nursing home staff members. Call today to have your case evaluated by a qualified legal expert.