What types of Ashland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases do You Handle?

We handle all kinds of nursing home abuse and neglect cases in Ashland, Ohio. These cases usually involve one or more of the following:

Nursing Home Elder Abuse

Elder abuse refers to intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm, regardless of whether harm is intended, to an elderly person by a caregiver. Abuse includes failure by a caregiver to satisfy an elder’s basic needs—neglect.

Nursing Home Bedsores and Pressure Ulcers

Bedsores shouldn’t happen. We investigate to find answers for families when a nursing home allows a bedsore to worsen or kill their loved one.

Nursing Home Choking and Suffocation Deaths

Nursing home residents should never choke or suffocate in nursing homes. Choking and suffocation deaths in nursing home are preventable. Unfortunately, they do happen. And probably much more often than most people can imagine. Choking and suffocation continue to be leading causes of death in nursing homes.

Nursing Home Dehydration and Malnutrition

Nursing home dehydration and malnutrition are serious and deadly threats to older people.  When nursing homes are understaffed or careless with resident health, dehydration can set in all too quickly.

Nursing Home Falls and Drops

Nursing home residents are often frail, weak, and unstable. They need help moving from place-to-place or getting in and of bed.

Unfortunately, nursing homes continue to allow residents to fall and become injured. Fractures of large bones (like hips and femurs) often lead to death in the elderly.

Nursing Home Wandering Off (called Elopement)

Nursing homes need to protect their residents. Elderly people with memory problems sometimes wander off. This is called “elopement.”

Nursing homes are required to assess residents to prevent this from happening. Nursing homes must have precautions in place to prevent residents from wandering off. This includes having the appropriate amount of staff to monitor residents. Nursing homes must also place alarms on doors and respond to those alarms to stop residents before they are injured.

If residents are permitted to wander off they can be severely injured. There have been examples of residents freezing to death in cold, being struck by cars, and falling down stairs.

Nursing Home Sexual Assault

It should go without saying that sexual abuse anywhere, including in nursing homes, is a crime that must be eradicated from society. Disgustingly, every year we see nursing home sexual abuse cases make headlines.

These are frequently the result of corporate greed and incompetence refusing to do required background checks.

Nursing Home Wrongful Death

When a nursing home’s abuse and neglect causes injury, the injured resident has a personal injury case.  When that injury causes the resident’s death—whether immediately, or over time—the resident’s family has a case. It is called a “wrongful death” claim.

Nursing Home Medication Errors

Medication errors are one of the leading causes of unintentional deaths in nursing homes.

Assisted Living Abuse and Neglect

Assisted Living Facilities, called Residential Care Facilities in Ohio, are not nursing homes, and are not as well-regulated as nursing homes.  That doesn’t mean someone injured or killed in a residential care facility has no claim.  But the types of claims, and how to pursue them, are different.

Where Do Ashland, Ohio Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Cases Go to Trial?

Nursing home abuse and neglect cases in Ashland go to trial at the Ashland County, Ohio Courthouse.

142 W Second Street

Ashland, Ohio 44805

Who are the Judges who will Preside over My Ashland, Ohio Nursing Home Abuse Case?

There is one judge and two magistrates on the Ashland County Court of Common Pleas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judge Ronald Forsthoefel

Who will be on the Jury in My Ashland, Ohio Nursing Home Case?

The jury is made up of regular people who live in Ashland, Ohio. A large group of people will receive a letter (called a summons) telling them to come to court for jury duty.

Not everyone who receives a summons will be on the jury. The entire group that comes to court is called the “jury pool.”

The lawyers and the judge then get to ask questions to see who will be a good fit for the case. Some people will not be chosen for a number of reasons. It could be that they know one of the people involved in the case or may be biased for some reason.

A total of 8 people will be on the jury. 6 of those 8 people will need to find in your favor to win your case. To learn more about Ashland County jury duty click here.

 

Who Performs Autopsies in Ashland County?

Autopsies are performed under the supervision of Dale R. Thomae , D.O. F.A.C.O.I. Dr. Dale Thomae is the Ashland County Coroner.

A Coroner shall be elected quadrennially in each county, who shall hold his office for a term of four years, beginning on the first Monday of January next after his election. (ORC 313.01)

Dr. Dale Thomae can be contacted at the following address.

Justice Complex

1207 East Main Street

Ashland, OH 44805

419.282.6159

 

 

What Does The Ashland Coroner’s Office Do?

According to its website link, the Ashland County Coroner describes the coroners role as the following:

 

The specialized field in which the skills of medical science are applied to serve the needs of law and justice is called legal or forensic medicine. The coroner is charged by law with the responsibility of determining the cause, mode and manner of death. The determination of the anatomic cause of death is a medical aspect while the legal interest is all-inclusive and requires that all factors of causation, the mode and manner, as well as the anatomic cause of death be established. The two aspects are so interrelated that they cannot be separated, therefore, equal consideration must be given to the medical and legal phases of investigation. This requires a specialized discipline correlating knowledge of law and medicine in a medicolegal investigation.

Legal medicine is so intimately associated with human conduct that its development may be considered contemporary with that of the social development of man, and particularly with the recognition or punishment of crime. Biblical laws made a distinction between mortal and dangerous wounds and laws relating to the subject of public medicine. There laws of ancient Greece and Rome demonstrate evidence that some of the more important medicolegal problems were recognized. Suetonius recorded that the body of Julius Caesar was examined by a physician named Antisius who declared that out of 23 wounds inflicted, the one which penetrated the thorax was the cause of death.

The Justinian Code (529-533 AD) required the opinion of a physician in certain cases and is often credited as the origin of recognition of the correlation of law and medicine in effecting legal justice. In a penal code formulated by the Bishop of Bamberg in 1507 AD, it was stipulated that a medical examination was to be made in all cases of violent death. In 1532, the Diet of Ratisbon under Charles V designated in the Constitution Carolina that in all cases where medical testimony could enlighten the judge or assist in the investigation of personal injury or murder, such evidence was to be required. Thus, on the European continent the specialty of legal medicine developed as a specific function of government.

Can I Report My Loved One’s Death to the Coroner?

Yes. If you believe that your loved one died under suspicious circumstances or because of abuse or neglect, you should report the death to the coroner.

You can report a death to the Ashland County Coroner’s Office by following this link .

What Types of Deaths Should Be Reported to the Coroner’s Office?

Not all deaths have to be reported to the coroner, also called a medical examiner in some counties. However, whenever a person dies of “violent, suspicious, unusual, or sudden death,” that has to be reported to the coroner by law in Ohio.

Ohio Revised Code 313.12 says:

When any person dies as a result of criminal or other violent means, by casualty, by suicide, or in any suspicious or unusual manner, when any person, including a child under two years of age, dies suddenly when in apparent good health, or when any person with a developmental disability dies regardless of the circumstances, the physician called in attendance, or any member of an ambulance service, emergency squad, or law enforcement agency who obtains knowledge thereof arising from the person’s duties, shall immediately notify the office of the coroner of the known facts concerning the time, place, manner, and circumstances of the death, and any other information that is required pursuant to sections 313.01 to 313.22 of the Revised Code.

Only the coroner or medical examiner can certify a death as being anything other than “natural.” This means that only a medical examiner or coroner can determine whether a person’s death was the result of suicide, homicide, or accident.

Most nursing home deaths that result in litigation are caused by accidental death or homicide.

Unfortunately, far too many primary care and other doctors choose not to alert the coroner or medical examiner after a person has died following trauma or other unusual circumstances, including after a nursing home resident falls.

When this occurs, it is important for the family to contact the coroner or medical examiner’s office as soon as possible. This can help ensure that the proper cause of death is given.

What Does it Mean to Probate An Estate?

The deceased person cannot file his own lawsuit.  Ohio law has a process where all beneficiaries are represented in a single wrongful death lawsuit through the creation of an estate. Although each surviving member of a decedent’s immediate family may be entitled to receive monetary compensation, there is only one cause of action for the recovery of that compensation under Ohio’s wrongful death statute.

Opening An Estate

The actual lawsuit is brought in the name of the representative of the estate for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, parents, and other next-of-kin.  The estate is created by filing certain paperwork in the probate court.

The “estate” is nothing more than a legal process where the probate court oversees the business of the deceased (including where money is being sent and how or if debts are being paid) and the wrongful death claim that belongs to the family members.

The probate court will then issue paperwork entitling a specific person to serve as the representative of the estate.  The individual appointed by the probate court is the personal representative of the estate.  The personal representative is then required to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the estate.  The probate court must approve any wrongful death settlement.

Choosing A Personal Representative

Any competent adult person may serve as the personal representative of an estate.  In order to be appointed as a personal representative of an estate in Ohio, a person must meet 4 requirements.

  1. Be at least 18 years of age (i.e., legally competent);
  2. Be mentally competent;
  3. Be bonded by a private insurance company; and
  4. Not have a criminal record (in order to be bonded).

If the deceased dies with a will, the will sometimes waives the bond requirement.  Under those circumstances, in order to be appointed as the personal representative, the person must only meet the first two requirements, be over the age of 18 and be mentally competent.

Prior to appointing a personal representative of an estate, beneficiaries have the right to receive notice of the request and object to an applicant’s request to be the personal representative in a hearing.  If the beneficiaries do not object to a person being named a personal representative and he or she meets the legal requirements, he or she will usually be named the personal representative by the probate court.

There is no requirement that the personal representative be a beneficiary of the wrongful death claim, be a member of the family, or even have ever known the deceased person.  On certain occasions, a lawyer, bank official, or other neutral third-party may be appointed as the personal representative of the estate.  This may be the most desirable outcome if, for example, no family member can be bonded or there is family conflict that prevents all beneficiaries from agreeing on a single family member to serve as personal representative.

What does A Personal Representative Do?

In many ways, the personal representative acts like plaintiff in a traditional lawsuit.  The difference, however, is that the personal representative is not only making decisions that affect his or her own interests, but is making decisions that affect all beneficiaries of the wrongful death claim.

For example, the personal representative decides whether to file a lawsuit, who and when to sue, what lawyer to have represent the estate for court proceedings, and whether or not to settle the lawsuit, although the probate court must always approve the settlement before it can be finalized.

The personal representative often times has more contact with the lawyers representing the estate (although this is not always the case), is required to participate in certain stages of litigation after the lawsuit is filed called discovery, attends court hearings and pre-trials, and participates in settlement negotiations and mediations.

The personal representative is important because they have the power to choose which lawyer will protect all the beneficiaries’ interests.  This is an important decision.  The lawyer chosen has a tremendous impact on the final settlement or jury verdict.  Picking an experienced wrongful death lawyer who has the ability and expertise to not only go to trial but secure a jury verdict is critical.

Given the amount of responsibility that goes into being the personal representative of an estate, it is important to have a personal representative who is organized, responsive, willing to vigorously pursue the claim, and make decisions that are most advantageous to all beneficiaries.

A probate court may remove the administrator of decedent’s estate when the administrator refuses to bring a wrongful death action when a legitimate wrongful death claim exists. See Toledo Bar Ass’n v. Rust, 124 Ohio St. 3d 305, 2010 Ohio 170.

Where is the Probate Court in Ashland, Ohio?

142 W 2nd Street

Ashland, OH 44805

What Nursing Homes Do You Investigate and Sue in Ashland County?

We investigate claims against all nursing homes in Ashland County. At an any given time, we are usually investigating multiple facilities in the area for nursing wrongful death. Those deaths may be caused by falls or drops, medication errors, dehydration, malnutrition, infection, bedsores, sexual assault or rape, and other forms of physical abuse.

What are the Worst-ranked nursing homes in Ashland?

The following is a list of nursing homes in the Ashland, Ashland County, Ohio.

Nursing Home InformationOverall RatingHealth InpectionsStaffingQuality Ratings
GERIATRIC CENTER OF MANSFIELD50 BLYMYER AVENUE
MANSFIELD, OH 44903
(419) 774-5100
1 out of 5 stars

Much Below Average

1 out of 5 stars

Much Below Average

3 out of 5 stars

Average

2 out of 5 stars

Below Average

WINCHESTER TERRACE70 WINCHESTER RD
MANSFIELD, OH 44907
(419) 756-4747
1 out of 5 stars

Much Below Average

1 out of 5 stars

Much Below Average

2 out of 5 stars

Below Average

4 out of 5 stars

Above Average

LEXINGTON COURT CARE CENTER250 DELAWARE ST
LEXINGTON, OH 44904
(419) 884-2000
1 out of 5 stars

Much Below Average

2 out of 5 stars

Below Average

1 out of 5 stars

Much Below Average

2 out of 5 stars

Below Average