An 88-year-old resident of a Missouri nursing home was found dead in a whirlpool bathtub eight hours after a nursing assistant placed her in the bathtub for her nightly bath. The Missouri nursing home negligence lawsuit alleges that the nursing assistant forgot that she had left the resident in the bathtub. The nursing assistant then found the resident, dead, in the cool water of the bathtub, with the whirlpool jets still operating. Despite the circumstances of the nursing home resident’s death, the medical examiner determined that the resident died from “natural causes.”
The nursing home resident, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, had been a resident of the defendant nursing home for at least three years. The resident’s son filed the Missouri nursing home wrongful death lawsuit on July 5, 2017 in which he alleges that the 240-bed nursing home put its profits ahead of its residents by understaffing the facility. The defendant nursing home is operated by a company that owns 22 nursing homes in Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.
The Missouri nursing home negligence lawsuit alleges that an investigation conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) determined, based upon staff interviews, that the nursing assistant had brought the resident to the nursing home’s shower room at approximately 8:30 p.m. on March 22, 2016, and helped the resident into the whirlpool tub. The resident asked for privacy and the nursing assistant then left the shower room. The nursing assistant reportedly told the CMS investigators that the resident would typically remain in the whirlpool tub for five to seven minutes, with nursing home staff checking on her periodically.
On this particular occasion, the nursing assistant reported that she went from the shower room to another resident’s room to assist that resident who had fallen. When the nursing assistant was done assisting that resident, other residents requested assistance and the nursing assistant “was very busy and forgot to check on the resident in the whirlpool tub.”
The nursing assistant began collecting water pitchers from residents’ rooms between 4:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., when she noticed that the resident who had been placed in the whirlpool tub was not in her room. The nursing assistant did not recall that she had left the resident in the whirlpool tub until the nurse on duty told the nursing assistant to check the resident’s bathroom. The nursing home assistant reportedly ran to the shower room where she found the resident obviously dead in the whirlpool tub, with the pull cord used to summon help beyond the reach of the resident.
On the night of the resident’s death, the defendant nursing home had one nurse, one medication technician, and two certified nursing assistants on duty to care for 35 residents on the unit in which the resident lived. The nursing assistant who left the resident in the whirlpool tub reportedly had a history of negligent behavior towards residents and had been assigned to the unit only a few days before the deadly incident. The nursing assistant reportedly felt “overwhelmed” by the workload on the unit.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in the United States due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home understaffing, or resident on resident abuse, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
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