Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Wrongful Death Under Wisconsin Law?

All too often, nursing home residents fall victim to wrongful death, both at the hands of nursing home staff members and other residents. When a wrongful death occurs at a nursing home, the individual’s family members inevitably want answers to the questions surrounding their loved one’s death. What’s more, the surviving family is likely to want to hold the nursing home responsible for the tragedy that occurred on their watch.

If negligence led to the death of your loved one, certain surviving family members of the deceased may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the nursing home, depending on the situation. For instance, if your loved one died due to abuse by a staff member whom the nursing home failed to properly screen for a criminal history or closely monitor, even after complaints were made, the nursing home might be civilly liable for damages resulting from the resident’s death. Likewise, if a nursing home is well aware that one of its residents is violent, and fails to take the steps necessary to prevent that resident from harming a fellow resident, then the nursing home also may be liable for wrongful death.

Up until recently, there was a major barrier to holding nursing homes responsible for their negligence in allowing the death of a resident to occur. Arbitration clauses are quite common in nursing home contracts, and they often serve to limit public scrutiny of nursing home negligence by relegating the parties to pursue any relief only in binding arbitration. Recently, federal law banned the use of arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts; however, pursuant to a pending lawsuit, a federal judge now has put the new law on hold until the lawsuit is resolved. As a result, it remains to be seen whether arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts will continue to tie the hands of families whose loved ones have died in a wrongful manner while in nursing homes.

The Wisconsin elder abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan have handled countless claims on behalf of nursing home residents who have suffered serious injuries and even death due to the negligent behavior of nursing home staff and facilities. When a serious injury or death of a loved one occurs, we know just how devastating it can be, and how you powerless you feel as a result. Allow your family to begin the healing process from this traumatic event by holding the wrongdoers responsible for your loved one’s injuries. Contact our office today and set up a free consultation with one of our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.