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Report: Nursing Home Complaints Kept Secret

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm / June 28, 2017

Checking your loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility is an extremely difficult thing to do. It is an emotionally fraught decision that causes many Minnesota families sleepless nights. Of course, in many cases, it is also the right decision. When you do choose to put your vulnerable or elderly family member into a nursing home, you have the right to demand that they will be treated properly.

Sadly, all too often, Minnesota nursing homes are failing to live up to their legal obligations to protect the health, safety and well-being of residents. Disturbingly, there is increasingly good reason to believe that the state’s regulators are asleep at the wheel and that nursing home abuse and neglect complaints are being kept secret and are simply swept under the rug. Recently, our attorney Joel E. Smith was quoted in an illuminating KARE NBC 11 Minneapolis-St. Paul investigative report on the problems surrounding nursing home complaints.

Complaints are Filed, Little to No Investigation is Conducted
KARE NBC 11 provided two different examples of nursing home abuse and neglect complaints that had been filed with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Health Facility, only to be largely ignored. Both occurred at the Martin Luther Care Center, an assisted living facility in Bloomington, MN, and in both cases, despite clearly disturbing facts, no real investigation was conducted by state officials.  

In one case, a woman in her 90s was subject to rough treatment while being transferred from her wheelchair to her bed. In the process, she sustained a broken leg. Despite her immediate complaint of her injury, the staff member brushed her off. She did not receive any medical care for the broken leg until the following day. Tragically, three weeks later, she passed away. In the other case, an elderly woman was checked into the facility while she was recovering from hip surgery. After falling, possibly due to staff inattention, she re-fractured her hip. Once again, she did not receive medical treatment until the following day, and one month later, she died.

Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Highlights the State’s Failures
These are just two examples of many cases from all corners of our state. Nursing home neglect complaints need to be taken seriously; comprehensive investigations must follow any complaints. Yet, the Minnesota Department of Health continues to fall short. Joel E. Smith, a lead attorney at our firm and a top-rated nursing home abuse lawyer, was quoted in the KARE 11 report. He explained that too many families are not getting the answers they rightfully deserve and the state Department of Health is too often failing to live up to its duties: “They’re not protecting the people that deserve to be protected, the vulnerable adults.”

Do You Need Assistance From Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers?
Our legal team is standing by, ready to help. At Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, we have extensive experience protecting the legal rights of elderly and vulnerable adults in Minnesota. If you believe that your loved one has been mistreated, please contact our team today at (763) 225-2695 to schedule your free initial consultation.