Bullying isn't something that only happens in school settings or between teens and children. Bullies eventually grow up to be adults, and many of them continue that abusive behavior throughout their entire lifetimes. So it's no surprise to learn that 10 to 20 percent of seniors have experienced bullying from others in their age group. While it's possible to recover damages and losses caused by bullying in a nursing home, the best way to go about it depends on who the perpetrator is. Here's what you need to know.
Nursing Home Employees
If the person bullying you or your loved is a staff member or someone who contracts with the nursing facility, such as a doctor, you would sue the nursing facility for damages using negligence laws. You could tie the liability for the employee's behavior to the company in a number of ways:
In this type of situation, it's not uncommon for facilities to defend themselves by stating they're not responsible for employees' actions. So in addition to proving negligence, you may also need to tie the employee's behavior to the company via vicarious liability laws.
These laws hold employers responsible for what an employee does in the course of their employment. You would have to show that the person was under the direction of the company and that the employee was acting within the scope of his or her job. The nursing facility may try to argue that the bullying was not within the scope of the person's job, but the nature of the work may still cause the company to be liable for the employee's behavior, especially if you reported the problem and the nursing home didn't address it.
Things can get a little more complex when it comes to bullying done by other residents in the nursing facility. Sometimes you can hold the nursing home responsible for the person's actions if you reported the bullying and the staff didn't adequately address the issue. To recover compensation in this situation, you would sue using negligence laws.
Otherwise, you would have to sue the person directly for damages using assault, battery, or emotional distress, depending on the bully's behavior. For instance, if the perpetrator physically assaulted you, you would sue using assault and battery laws. If the person was verbally abusive or did things that caused mental distress (e.g. destroyed important pictures), you would sue for emotional distress or pain and suffering.
For more information about this issue or help litigating a nursing home abuse case, contact an attorney.Share
29 March 2017
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