Articles Posted in Crime Victims

In Tennessee and all across the United States, people put their loved ones in nursing homes every day, expecting that they will be well cared for. However, many patients suffer from abuse, negligent, and in some cases patients even die as a result of medical malpractice and negligence. Tennessee Wrongful Death lawsuits can be filed for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: motorcycle or car accidents, defective products, an occupational hazard or medical malpractice or negligence. Medical malpractice is one of the most common causes for wrongful death in the United States. About 98, 000 Americans have died a wrongful death due to medical malpractice and 90, 000 of these cases filed for wrongful death claims.

According to this Nursing Home Neglect lawsuit, on December 13, 2011, a woman died after suffering a subdural and subarachnoid hematoma. Although devastated at her loss, it was a situation the family could understand. Sadly, this family was lied to, although the real facts were not revealed until they were watching the evening news. The newscaster announced that the coroner’s office ruled the cause of death a homicide because she was assaulted by an Alzheimer’s patient.
The family went to the nursing home seeking answers following the news report. They were avoided by staff members. The victim’s son doesn’t blame the other resident, but he was shocked by the lies and could not believe the lack of supervision provided by the nursing home staff. The altercation happened in the dining room, where no supervision was present.

According to the case, the family originally sought an apology and $30,000 to cover the woman’s hospital bills; however the nursing home refused to accept accountability. Now the facility is facing a wrongful death lawsuit. An inspection in January 2011 cited the nursing home for failure to provide adequate supervision to prevent a fall in the Alzheimer’s unit. In response the nursing home submitted a plan of correction and promised not to leave Alzheimer’s residents unsupervised in the dining room. The plan was never effectively implemented.
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In Tennessee and all across the country, families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes each year. When doing so, they expect that their loved ones will be properly taken care of and looked after. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, overworked, and improperly trained. This can and unfortunately often leads to nursing home abuse and neglect for many patients. If you feel that someone you love has been injured or died as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, then you should talk to a Tennessee nursing home lawyer as soon as possible.

According to this case, a lawsuit has been filed against a nursing home after one of the patients was allegedly sexually assaulted. The complaint states that around July 17, 2010, an elderly woman who lived at the Apple Rehab Bunker Hill facility was sexually assaulted by an unknown person. The attack allegedly happened in her bedroom, but does not specify if the suspect was an employee, guest, or another resident.

The lawsuit claims that the nursing home failed to protect the victim from sexual assault, failed to provide adequate security, and failed to report the assault to family members as well as police. However, a spokesperson for the facility says that, “The rehab’s policy includes a full investigation into the facts and findings and continues to commit full resources to uncover the facts which continue to unfold.”

The family is asking for the rehab facility to pay more than $15,000 to cover the costs of medical and funeral costs. The family claims because of the reported incident here, the woman suffered a fear of sexually transmitted diseases, conscious pain and suffering, severe emotional distress and eventually death. The criminal investigation to this is ongoing.
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Last year our office tried a case against Robertson County, Tennessee. The case involved serious injuries that a young boy sustained after being in a skirmish with another student. At trial, we successfully put on evidence about the school system ignoring our client’s disabilities and a mother’s continued request for help in relation to bullying at the school. In light of the school system’s failure to act and the life changing injuries sustained by our young client, the Court awarded the maximum amount allowed under the law in Tennessee.

I was recently interviewed about this ground breaking Tennessee school bullying lawsuit. You can watch the interview below:

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According to the lawsuit, Dr. Donald Mitchell and his wife, Barbara Mitchell, along with several friends went to Rippy’s on the last day of the CMA Music Festival to share an afternoon meal and a few drinks. Before getting their meal, Mitchell closed the group’s tab as requested by their server. The server informed the party that another server would be arriving soon. Another server never showed up however and this led to Mitchell and other friends in his party ordering drinks from the bar which was against the bar and grill’s house rules.

Not long after this occurred, Joshua Hightower, a security guard went over to the party and informed them that they had to leave for breaking one of the restaurant’s house rules. The server who was given the party complained that she was not making enough money off of Mitchell’s table. Mitchell asked if his party could finish their meal and then as alleged in the lawsuit, Hightower slapped Mitchell’s drink out of his hand and put him in a chokehold. The lawsuit claims the attack was not provoked but the restaurant disputes this claim. Mitchell was struggling to breathe in the chokehold, prompting witnesses to call 911. At this point, tempers rose and Mitchell was choked twice more, one time by bouncer, Justin Shatto. At one point, according to the lawsuit, Hightower choked Mitchell so intensely that he turned purple and lost consciousness.

Hightower and the other security guard, Justin Shatto, filed assault charges against the Mitchells. That case was dismissed in July. The Mitchells’ civil lawsuit alleges negligence, willful and wanton misconduct and emotional distress, among other charges. The suit is seeking nearly $4.5 million.
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Our Tennessee Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers have been witnesses to disturbing events over the years. A recent news story highlights the potential dangers that residents sometimes face in these homes. According to a recently reported case, an investigation was started into a nursing home after an eighty-nine year old resident with severe dementia reported to two family members that on June 15, 2012, she had been raped by a man she did not know. The family member then reported this claim to a nurse who examined the patient and then as told by the nursing home’s doctor, transferred the patient to a hospital emergency room so a rape test could be performed. The Police Department interviewed family members and nursing home residents on June 16th and opened an investigation.

On August 29, 2012, the Department of Health as well as the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concluded that the nursing home owned by Kindred Healthcare Inc., is accused of providing residents substandard care and of placing them in immediate jeopardy. The nursing home received a fine of $6,000 per day until the Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are satisfied that the problems have been resolved. The Health Department and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cited that the nursing home failed to notify the resident’s doctor so she could be tested for STD’s, and failed to properly question the male staff and to provide proper counseling for the resident.

The investigation is ongoing, and no one has been charged. The resident’s family moved her to another facility.
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In Tennessee and all across the United States, we expect working employees to be respectable and honest individuals, especially people in service positions such as an executive for a nursing home. Unfortunately, however, sometimes this is not the case. If you or someone you know has witnessed or may suspect a crime at your workplace or anywhere else, it is recommended that you contact the police and a Tennessee nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible.

In a recent case, John D. Henderson has received a sentence of five years and three months in prison for accepting kickbacks from contractors and also for evading taxes. He has also been ordered to pay almost $700,000 in restitution, federal taxes, and penalties. Henderson is the former director of maintenance and renovations for the Medical Facilities of America which runs forty nursing homes. He has been convicted of demanding kickbacks for giving different companies contracts for construction work at some of those forty nursing homes.

He has pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and two counts of tax evasion in a federal court in March. Four contractors have also been convicted of paying him kickbacks.
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In Tennessee and all across the country, it seems like bullying in schools has become a bigger problem than ever. Many students have unfortunately had to face constant bullying and some of these incidents have even led to severe injuries or even suicide for the student that was bullied. If you or someone you love has been bullied at school or anywhere else and then suffered severe or life changing injuries as a result, you should talk to a Tennessee personal injury lawyer right away. These cases can be very difficult and it is important to gather evidence early.

According to this case, on May 16th of 2006, Sawyer Rosenstein was punched by a bully so hard that he fell to his knees. Then two days later, he screamed out in pain at home and has not walked since. Rosenstein was paralyzed from the waist down as the result of a clot that had been formed after the punch to his stomach resulted in a blow to a major artery. He also suffered scoliosis and other problems due to being paralyzed and had to have nineteen surgeries including a complete spinal fusion. These surgeries were nearly fatal for him.
In 2009, the Rosenstein family filed a lawsuit against the school board, administrators, and the boy who punched Sawyer. The family’s claims in the lawsuit include that school officials knew or should have known about that the boy who attacked Sawyer had a history of violent behavior based on information about him punching others in the past. The family settled with the student two years ago. Six years after the attack, the school board has agreed to a $4.2 million settlement for the Rosenstein family.
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In Tennessee and all over the United States, we hear reports about people being abused and killed in their homes, at schools, in parks, and many other places. People should be able to feel safe and secure inside their homes, but sometimes this is unfortunately not the case. If someone you care about has been the victim of a crime in their home or anywhere else, you should talk to a Tennessee personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will hear your case and work with you to make sure you get the justice and compensation you need for what you have suffered.

In this case, Melissa Donner, twenty-one, who lived in a studio apartment and worked in two restaurants was raped, beaten, and killed by Roberto Ramirez, a man who lived in another apartment in the same complex, on January 24th of 2005. After committing the crime, Ramirez came back to his apartment covered in blood and told his friends that he had done something really bad. He then fled to Mexico, according to police. He was caught in 2006 and returned to the city after police gained permission from the Donner family who wanted to pursue the death penalty against Ramirez.

Ramirez plead guilty later and is currently serving a fifty year sentence. According to the lawsuit against the management company of the apartment complex, Ramirez had previously assaulted another female two months before Donner got killed and if management had followed their policies for screening their tenants, Ramirez would not have even been in the building.

The jury for this case reached a $10 million verdict for the Donner family.
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In Tennessee and all across the country, people place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities when they can no longer care for them. People expect that their loved ones will be well cared for and protected from any harm. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many nursing homes and other living facilities for the elderly are understaffed and improperly trained. This can result in the abuse or neglect of loved ones. If you feel that your loved one may have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important that you talk to a Tennessee nursing home abuse and personal injury lawyer right away. They can work with you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

According to this case, Donald Reeder, eighty-three was beaten on December 24, 2011 by his eighty-nine year old roommate who also suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia like Reeder. Reeder died on January 10, 2011 and it was determined that it was caused by the after effects of the beating. Reeder roommate Orville Hayes was never charged and later died on February 12, 2011. Police found out about the beating when the ambulance driver for Reeder called them on the way to the hospital.

According to the police reports, it was later discovered that the assisted living facility failed to inform the police of the beating and also failed to investigate the incident. It was also discovered that the facility’s employees cleaned up the crime scene and removed the murder weapon before the police got there. The cane which had been broken in two and covered with blood was found near Hayes’ bed, according to police. The staff member that found Reeder told an investigator that when she asked Reeder about what had occurred, he said that Hayes was trying to kill him. According to the state report, Hayes said Reeder had beaten himself.

The facility has been cited with several violations including failing to report the incident to Adult Protective Services and also failing to provide proper care and staff to the facility’s twenty-two current residents. Other violations include permitting improperly trained staff to dispense prescription medications and failing to prevent patients from suffering from several falls which meant emergency hospitalization for some of them.
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