In the greater Philadelphia area, including Montgomery County, Delaware County and Bucks County, there are dozens of for-profit nursing homes, many of which operate as corporate entities. When nursing home injuries occur, injured residents may file lawsuits against nursing homes, and nursing homes are often sued in their corporate capacities. This is known as the corporate negligence doctrine applicable in nursing home injury lawsuits.
Under the doctrine of corporate negligence, nursing homes may be liable for failure to ensure reasonable, proper care for the safety and well-being of residents. This applies not only to nursing homes, but also to other long term care facilities.
A Nursing Home’s Duties to Residents
Under Pennsylvania law, nursing homes may owe certain duties to residents:
- maintaining a reasonably safe facility,
- maintaining equipment in a reasonably safe manner,
- hiring/retaining competent staff,
- providing proper training to staff, and
- developing proper procedures and rules to ensure reasonable, quality care for residents.
The doctrine of corporate liability requires an injured party (injured resident) to prove that the nursing home breached one of these duties. In addition, the injured party must present evidence that the nursing home either knew or should have known about the breach of duty and the corresponding risk of harm to residents.
Proving breach of one of these duties in a nursing home injury case requires careful investigation of the following:
- contracts between the nursing home and any vendors,
- employment contracts or agreements,
- employee manuals/training materials,
- employee files, rosters, schedules, and
- corporate manuals/materials.
The key is prompt investigation. In addition, nursing homes tend to have high employee turn over rates, which means that prior employees must be identified and interviewed if necessary. Doing so often helps to establish a prior pattern or practice of negligent behavior.
Legal Rights to Compensation for Nursing Home Injuries in Pennsylvania
Residents of nursing homes in Pennsylvania who are injured in accidents or due to abuse/neglect often have legal rights to compensation. Injured residents may be able to obtain fair compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering.
For a free case review of your case, please call our Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home injury lawyers at (215) 985-0777.
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