A Westfield Nursing Home has recently come under investigation regarding claims of abuse, neglect and nursing home malpractice leading to the severe injury of at least one resident.
The Westfield Center, a facility of Genesis Healthcare, located in Westfield, New Jersey is under investigation by the State Health Department and the Westfield Police.
The attorneys at O’Connor Parsons Lane & Noble are experienced at handling nursing home abuse and malpractice cases and believe that every resident has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Ongoing abuse, neglect and substandard care often manifest through a resident’s health in a variety of ways. Nursing malpractice cases often involve patients that suffer from decubitus ulcers and bedsores, untreated infection, delay in diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis, broken bones due to preventable falls, and physical and mental injuries as a result of physical or sexual abuse. These are only some of many other injuries that can result as a consequence of a nursing home’s violation of a resident’s rights and negligent care.
Under New Jersey law, nursing home residents have certain rights. These rights are commonly known as “The Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights” and provide that every resident of a nursing home shall:
- Have the right to manage his or her own financial affairs.
- Have the right to wear his or her own clothing. If clothing is provided to the resident by the nursing home, it shall be of a proper fit.
- Have the right to retain and use his personal property in his or her immediate living quarters, unless the nursing home can demonstrate that it is unsafe or impractical to do so.
- Have the right to receive and send unopened correspondence and, upon request, to obtain assistance in the reading and writing of such correspondence.
- Have the right to unaccompanied access to a telephone at a reasonable hour, including the right to a private phone at the resident's expense.
- Have the right to privacy.
- Have the right to retain the services of his or her own personal physician at his or her own expense or under a health care plan; be afforded the opportunity to participate in the planning of his or her total care and medical treatment to the extent that his or her condition permits; have the right to confidentiality and privacy concerning his or her medical condition and treatment.
- Have the right to unrestricted communication, including personal visitation with any persons of his or her choice, at any reasonable hour.
- Have the right to present grievances on behalf of himself or herself or others to the nursing home administrator, State governmental agencies or other persons without threat of discharge or reprisal in any form or manner whatsoever.
- Have the right to a safe and decent living environment and considerate and respectful care that recognizes the dignity and individuality of the resident, including the right to expect and receive appropriate assessment, management and treatment of pain as an integral component of that person's care consistent with sound nursing and medical practices.
- Have the right to refuse to perform services for the nursing home that are not included for therapeutic purposes in his or her plan of care.
- Have the right to reasonable opportunity for interaction with members of the opposite sex.
- Not be deprived of any constitutional, civil or legal right solely by reason of admission to a nursing home.
- Have the right to receive, upon request, food that meets the resident’s religious dietary requirements, provided that the request is made prior to or upon admission to the nursing home, and that resident agrees to pay for any additional cost if not a Medicaid recipient. N.J. S. A. 30:13-5.
When passing the Nursing Home laws, “the Legislature recognized the need to protect a discrete class of citizens who, by virtue of their age and infirmity, are particularly vulnerable to sharp commercial practices, especially in the area of health care, housing, and end-of-life decisions.” Estate of Ruszala ex rel. Mizerak v. Brookdale Living Communities, Inc., 415 N.J. Super. 272, 296 (App. Div. 2010). The attorneys at O’Connor Parsons Lane & Noble are proud to represent and protect citizens like these in claims against nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
If you believe you or a family member may have