Nursing Home Sued for Wrongful Death, Malpractice in Orangeburg County

Jul 26, 2019

Nursing Home Sued for Wrongful Death, Malpractice in Orangeburg County

Photo of Wrongful Death

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.

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