Causes of Wrongful Deaths in Nursing Homes

Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Explain the Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths in Nursing Homes


When we make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, we do so to ensure that our loved one lives a better life than he or she would have outside the facility.  This is because nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other rehabilitation centers can provide around the clock medical care and treatment, supervision, and support for our loved ones which we may be unable to do.  While many facilities provide exceptional care, unfortunately too many Oregon nursing homes cause serious personal injuries which lead to the wrongful death of our loved one.  Our Oregon nursing home abuse lawyers know how devastating this can be for a family who entrusted their loved one in the care and protection of a nursing home, only to have that same nursing home cause their loved one to be wrongfully killed.


What is Wrongful Death Under Oregon Law?


Wrongful death actions against nursing homes or assisted living facilities are based on negligence.  Negligence is a type of claim against a person or entity that should have done something that another reasonable person would have done but the defendant did not do, or something that a reasonable person would not have done by the defendant did.  This is why negligence is defined as a wrongful action or an omission of an action.


Now understanding how negligence works, Oregon law defines what constitutes a wrongful death under 2017 ORS section 30.020 (1) as “[t]he death of a person by the wrongful act or omission of another . . . [that] the decedent might have maintained an action, had the decedent lived, against the wrongdoer for an injury done by the same act or omission.”  This means that Oregon looks to whether a defendant negligently caused the death of another person by doing something that it should not have done or by not doing something that it should have done.


Relating to nursing home wrongful death claims, the following as some examples of negligent actions or inactions which could cause the wrongful death of an Oregon nursing home resident:


  • Failure to diagnose an infection or sepsis;
  • Failing to guard against bed sores, pressure sores, or pressure ulcers;
  • Neglecting to supervise or protect fall risk residents;
  • Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or other forms of abuse;
  • Resident neglect;
  • Lack of supervision;
  • Negligent hiring or negligent training of staff;
  • Inadequate staffing;
  • Heart attack misdiagnosis;
  • Stroke misdiagnosis
  • Failing to get a higher level of help or transfer a resident to a hospital;
  • Failing to guard against choking;
  • Not treating UTIs and other infections;
  • Improper wound care; and
  • Many other common causes that could result in the wrongful death of a resident.


Filing a Wrongful Death Claim for Oregon Nursing Home Negligence or Abuse and Neglect


Generally, a surviving spouse or child is the most common person to file a wrongful death action against a nursing home.  Other individuals including surviving parents, siblings, or other close family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death action.  In some instances, a wrongful death action may be filed by an individual designated under a Last Will and Testament.  This is known as an executor or executrix.


Every state as a statute of limitations period in which to file a claim.  The statute of limitations period acts as a time period or time limit to bring an action against a defendant.  Under Oregon law, a family member, executor/executrix, or any other court-approved individual must commence a wrongful death action within three years of the date of last injury to the deceased.  Unlike some other states, Oregon does not measure the statute of limitations period from the date of death.  Rather, Oregon measures the statute of limitations period from the date of last injury resulting in or contributing to the wrongful death.


If Your Loved One Died Unexpectedly in a Nursing Home, Ask our Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers and Malpractice Lawyers to Review the Facts


Unexplained deaths in nursing homes should always be investigated.  This is particularly true if a loved one died unexpectedly.  If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  


Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

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