Nursing Home Sued for Wrongful Death, Malpractice in Orangeburg County

Nursing Home Sued for Wrongful Death, Malpractice in Orangeburg County

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More than three million people in the United States currently live in nursing homes. In one survey with residents, about 44 percent indicated they had suffered from abuse and more than 95 percent indicated they’d been neglected.

The knowledge that your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home can be jarring — and even infuriating. In these situations, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the offending company to seek damages for the pain and suffering your family has experienced.

One such lawsuit was recently filed in Orangeburg County by Darlene Bethea.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed in Orangeburg County

Bethea represents the estate of Rena Mae Zinnerman. In her lawsuit, Bethea alleges the owner of Phaire’s Care — the assisted living facility where Zinnerman lived — was driving with Zinnerman and three other residents of the facility in his vehicle when he was involved in an accident.

Zinnerman died from her injuries less than two weeks later. The wrongful death lawsuit is holding Phaire’s Care responsible for her death. It’s unclear why the residents were in the vehicle in the first place.

Another lawsuit was recently filed by Jason Broughton, who represents the estate of Judy Broughton, against the same company. This lawsuit alleges medical malpractice.

According to documents filed in court, Judy suffered multiple injuries and medical complications after becoming a resident at Phaire’s Care in September 2015. Less than a month after moving in, she was taken to Trident Medical Center with severe wounds.

Judy passed away in December 2015. The lawsuit alleges she was not given proper medical attention and treatment from staff members at Phaire’s Care.

A local news outlet noted the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has cited the assisted living home with medical policy violations in the past. The department recorded issues like incorrectly administered medication, not keeping records on-hand, and not properly feeding residents.

The home was fined $23,500 in 2014 for similar violations.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

There is often some overlap in nursing home neglect and medical malpractice. In both cases, staff members have a certain “duty of care” — and when that care isn’t provided, patients get hurt.

In order to prove medical malpractice has taken place, there should be provable negligence or recklessness on the part of staff. In the case of negligence, mistakes that rise to the level of medical malpractice could include the failure to diagnose a harmful condition, misdiagnosis, or unacceptable errors during surgery. These issues are commonly the focus of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Recklessness, on the other hand, is rare. It could involve a doctor performing surgery or a risky medical procedure while under the influence of drugs or alcohol — or a doctor that administered potentially lethal amounts of medication against acceptable medical practices.

It’s important to note that medical malpractice does not include when a patient naturally worsens in condition or when the condition is untreatable. 

Contact an Experienced Rock Hill Malpractice Attorney for Representation

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to nursing home abuse or medical malpractice, then it’s important to get in touch with a dedicated personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact our team at The Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Lancaster, or Union by calling (803)-324-7200.

Additional Reading:

Holiday Safe Ride Strategies by Your Rock Hill Attorneys

As one popular Christmas carol says, ‘tis the season to be jolly – and that can include holiday drinks. That makes drunk driving more prevalent, unfortunately, which also means a greater risk of being hit by a drunk driver. Obvious solutions include hailing a cab after you’ve personally consumed alcohol or using a designated driver. Budweiser is testing out another solution in select states, reports Huffington Post: partnering with Lyft, a ride service, to offer significantly discounted late-night rides home in states with some of the highest numbers of drunk-driving deaths.

The states are Colorado, Florida, Illinois and New York, and the companies involved will distribute $10 coupons for rides on weekends, for use between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Altogether, 5,000 coupons will be handed out for use through the end of 2016.

The two companies tried this strategy with success after select music festivals earlier in the year. Their goal is to reduce the number of drunk-driving deaths.

Although this program is not yet in effect in South Carolina, it may spread if it is successful. Closer to home, AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, partnered with Uber and MillerCoors over the Thanksgiving holiday to offer discounted ride homes in select areas – and it can be worth checking to see if they make a similar offer over upcoming holidays.

Increasing awareness of the dangers of drunk driving is causing more options to be available for safe rides home, but they are not available at all times, in all places.

Drunk Driving Fatalities

holiday drinking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 alone, there were 9,967 people killed in driving crashes where alcohol was involved. This accounts for almost one in every three traffic-related deaths in the country.

South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney

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When the unthinkable happens, the last thing you’d be thinking about is contacting an attorney while evidence is still fresh, but prompt action is needed to prove liability and assess damages. There are two types of potential claims available: survival action on behalf of the deceased, where you are requesting compensation for medical bills, plus pain and suffering prior to death; and wrongful death claims for funeral costs, lost earning capacity and lost contributions to family life. The latter can be brought by the person’s spouse, dependent children or parents.

If you believe you have grounds for action, contact the wrongful death attorneys at our firm online. Let us investigate while you grieve.