Wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed by the family members of the deceased. Although nothing can heal the pain or bring a loved one back, bringing justice to those responsible for a wrongful death can bring peace of mind to the family and also help bring about change so others don’t suffer from the same wrongdoing.
In July 2015, we posted a blog to this site after an elderly woman with dementia died from injuries sustained after being thrown from her wheelchair while riding in a van with a caregiver. The family of the deceased woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the health care agency that employed the driver.
According the claim, the caregiver failed to properly strap in the woman before getting behind the wheel. Once on the road, for unknown reasons, the driver “suddenly and unexpectedly” braked, causing the woman to be thrown from her wheelchair into the dashboard. The lawsuit alleged that the caregiver sought help from “Good Samaritans” to get the woman back in the wheelchair, then took the woman back to her residence without seeking medical attention or calling an ambulance or police. The suit also claims the elderly woman’s family was not notified of the incident, and was later lied to about what happened. The elderly woman ultimately died four months later from multiple broken bones and internal injuries, according to the lawsuit.
Sadly, it is only after innocent people are seriously injured or killed that something is done. The defendant said that they have implemented additional measures to protect the elderly and to reduce the risk of similar transportation accidents. “These protective measures include the purchase of safety harnesses for transporting the elderly and disabled; mandatory safety seminars for caregivers using the transportation van; increased supervision over all caregivers; and stringent hiring practices that include active and comprehensive driving records checks on caregivers that could possibly be transporting clients.”
The caregiver currently has first-degree felony injury to an elderly person charges pending against her.