We handle nursing home abuse lawsuits in the Columbus, Ohio area. (image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=533769)

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Table of Contents

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

We handle Columbus nursing home lawsuits of all kinds.  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.

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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.

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.

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What Are the Nursing Homes in the Columbus, Ohio Area?

There are many nursing homes in the Columbus, Ohio area.  Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers investigates claims against all of them.

Below are some of the worst-rated Columbus nursing homes according to Medicare:


(614) 464-2273


(614) 274-4222


(614) 457-1100


(614) 491-2000


(614) 501-8271


(614) 575-9003


(614) 891-5055


(614) 864-1718


(614) 863-1858


(614) 882-4055


(614) 834-2273


(614) 882-1511


(614) 879-7661

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Where Do Columbus Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Cases Go to Trial?

Columbus nursing home abuse lawsuits are heard at the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Columbus nursing home abuse and neglect cases in go to trial at the Franklin County, Ohio Courthouse.  The Franklin County Courthouse is located at 345 South High Street, just North of Interstate 70, in Columbus, Ohio.

Parking is available in several nearby garages including the Courthouse’s own garage located west of the building on Front Street. 

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

The judges of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court hear nursing home abuse cases.  The judges are:

Judge Stephen L. McIntosh

Administrative Judge
Courtroom 4B
Bailiff 614-525-5883
Secretary 614-525-3550
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3370
Term Expires: January 2019

Judge Charles A. Schneider

Presiding Judge
Courtroom 5A
Bailiff 614-525-5928
Secretary 614-525-3664
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3775
Term Expires: January 2019

Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt

Courtroom 6B
Secretary 614-525-6281
Bailiff 614-525-5893
Facsimile 614-525-5888
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3764
Term Expires: January 2023

Judge Christopher Brown

Courtroom 6F
Bailiff 614-525-6290
Secretary 614-525-3660
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3763
Term Expires: July 2021

Judge Jeffrey Brown

Courtroom 4A
Bailiff 614-525-6289
Secretary 614-525-3550
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3762
Term Expires: January 2023

Judge Kim Brown

Courtroom 5E
Bailiff 614-525-5927
Secretary 614-525-3811
Ct. Reporter 614-525-6284
Term Expires: January 2019

Judge David E. Cain

Courtroom 7F
Bailiff 614-525-5897
Secretary 614-525-3777
Ct. Reporter 614-525-6049
Term Expires: January 2019

Judge Kimberly Cocroft

Courtroom 4E
Bailiff 614-525-4644
Secretary 614-525-7200
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3760
Facsimile 614-525-4641
Term Expires: June 2023

Judge Jenifer French

Courtroom 6A
Bailiff 614-525-5894
Secretary 614-525-6281
Ct. Reporter 614-525-5913
Term Expires: February 2021

Judge Richard A. Frye

Courtroom 5F
Bailiff 614-525-5898
Secretary 614-525-3811
Ct. Reporter 614-525-4645
Term Expires: January 2023

Judge Michael J. Holbrook

Courtroom 5B
Bailiff 614-525-5886
Secretary 614-525-3664
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3765
Term Expires: December 2022

Judge Julie M. Lynch

Courtroom 7E
Bailiff 614-525-3293
Secretary 614-525-3777
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3759
Term Expires: January 2023

Judge Colleen O’Donnell

Courtroom 4F
Bailiff 614-525-5885
Secretary 614-525-7200
Term Expires: January 2023

Judge Guy L. Reece, II

Courtroom 3E
Bailiff 614-525-5889
Secretary 614-525-6288
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3758
Term Expires: January 2019

Judge Mark Serrott

Courtroom 6E
Bailiff 614-525-5214
Secretary 614-525-3660
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3123
Term Expires: January 2023

Judge William H. Woods

Courtroom 7B
Bailiff 614-525-5924
Secretary 614-525-3770
Ct. Reporter 614-525-3789
Term Expires: December 2020

Judge David Young

Courtroom 7A
Bailiff 614-525-3731
Secretary 614-525-3770
Ct. Reporter 614-525-4434
Term Expires: June 2021

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Will a Jury Decide My Columbus Nursing Home Lawsuit?

Image of beige room with conference table surrounded by 14 rolling office chairs

An example jury room where a Franklin County jury deliberates in a Columbus nursing home trial

We always insist on having a jury trial in nursing home lawsuits.  Franklin County jurors are called as a “jury pool” for a selection process that decides whether they will hear a trial.

Here’s what the Franklin County Common Pleas Court tells jurors about the trial process:

Selection of a Jury
Jurors are selected for a courtroom from the pool of available jurors. The judge and attorneys question the jurors in a process called voir dire (vwar deer), a French term meaning “to speak the truth,” to determine if any juror has a personal interest in the case, a prejudice or bias that may wrongly influence him/her as a juror. The attorneys may challenge some jurors and ask the court to excuse them from the trial. There are two types of challenges: challenge for cause and peremptory challenge. Although peremptory challenges are limited in number, each side has an unlimited number of challenges for cause.

Opening Statements
Each side may outline the proof to be presented to the jury during the trial. Opening statements are not evidence, only expectations of what each side expects the evidence to prove.

Presentation of Evidence and Testimony of Witnesses
The plaintiff’s or prosecution’s case is presented first. As each witness testifies, the side that called the witness asks questions in direct examination. Then the side that did not call the witness has an opportunity to ask questions in cross-examination. Physical evidence such as documents or photographs may be admitted into evidence and numbered for identification.

During the trial, if one attorney objects to a question, he/she presents his/her objection to the judge. These are questions of legal technicality and may be argued out of your hearing. Do not be concerned. The judge will advise the jury of any information you need to make your decision, or instruct you to disregard what should not be considered. A ruling by the judge to sustain or overrule an objection does not mean that the judge is taking sides. He/she is applying the law which permits or does not permit either the questions to be asked or the question to be answered. When each side has presented all their evidence, they “rest” their case.

Closing Arguments
The attorneys summarize the evidence and try to persuade the jury to find in favor of their client. The plaintiff has the burden of proof and therefore has the opportunity to open and close the arguments.

Presentation of Jury Instructions (Charging the Jury)
The judge reads the instructions of law to the jury, defines the issues the jurors must decide and informs them of the law that governs the case. Jurors may not decide cases based on the laws as they would like them to be, but must reach a verdict on the laws as they are. This is your sworn duty.

The jury retires to the deliberation room to consider the case and reach a verdict. The jury first elects a foreperson who will see that discussions are conducted in a sensible and orderly fashion, that all issues are fully and fairly discussed, and that every juror is given a fair chance to participate. If the jurors have a question during their deliberation, they may write it down and have the bailiff deliver it to the judge.

Announcement of the Verdict
When a verdict has been reached, the jurors agreeing to the verdict sign the form and notify the bailiff. The verdict is read in the courtroom and the judge dismisses the jurors.

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

The jury is made up of regular people who live in Franklin County, 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.

Who is the Coroner for Franklin County, Ohio?

Image of smiling Dr. Anahi M. Ortiz in lab coat over salmon shirt

Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi M. Ortiz

Dr. Anahi Ortiz is the Franklin County Coroner.  Dr. Ortiz was appointed to the office of Franklin County Coroner in November of 2014.

Since then she has worked towards streamlining the process for more timely completion of death certificates, has had several forms professionally interpreted for families of decedents whose primary language is not English, and is working on educating the medical community on completing death certificates. 

When is an autopsy performed?

The Medical Examiner’s office does not autopsy everyone reported to their office.

When no “foul play” is suspected and evidence of a natural death is present. In other cases, where there is the possibility of legal proceedings, which may arise as a result of a homicide, accident, suicide, etc., an autopsy will be performed. In these cases, both positive and negative information is found which substantiates the ruling and cause of death as signed by the Medical Examiner.

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Does the Medical Examiner need permission from next of kin to perform an autopsy?

Ohio law (ORC 2108.52) provides that the Medical Examiner/Coroner does not need permission to perform an autopsy. The Department of the Medical Examiner will attempt to comply with the wishes of the next of kin, especially if there is a family religious interest and when this does not conflict with the duties of the Medical Examiner as charged by Ohio law.

What is an autopsy and is there a charge?

An autopsy is a systematic examination by a qualified physician respectful of a deceased person for the purpose of determining the cause of death and recovering from the body evidence of the cause of death. A record is made of the findings of the autopsy, including microscopic and toxicological laboratory tests. These laboratory tests are conducted after the release of the body to the next of kin for burial. There is no charge to the next of kin for an autopsy nor for any of the tests which may be conducted by the Medical Examiner’s Department.

How long does it take for a death ruling to be made?

This procedure is handled differently by various Counties. In many cases, a signed death certificate accompanies the body when it is released by the Medical Examiner. When there is insufficient information available to complete the death certificate, a “Pending findings, facts, and verdict” death certificate is issued that accompanies the body. This death certificate enables the funeral services and burial to take place while additional chemical, microscopic slide preparation and examination, and other investigation continues. At the culmination of these tests and investigation, a ruling is made based on all available information. A supplemental death certificate is then issued with the cause of death and ruling which supersedes the “Pending” death certificate.

A Coroner’s Report from the Franklin County Coroner’s Office includes:

  • a Finding of Fact and Verdict page
  • the Forensics Pathologist’s Autopsy or External Examination Protocol
  • and a Toxicology Report (if toxicology testing was performed).

Coroner’s reports become public record once the case is completed. Anyone may request a copy of any report. All copies of the Coroner’s reports are certified.

Cases take approximately 10-12 weeks from the date of death for completion, at that time the Coroner’s Report will be sent out to all parties who have requested it.

You can request a coroner’s report here: https://coroner.franklincountyohio.gov/services/coroners-report

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Will an autopsy disfigure the body and prevent an open casket funeral?

Necessary incisions used to perform the autopsy are easily covered by clothing and do not prevent open casket viewing.

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.

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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.

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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 Columbus, Ohio?

The probate court is where an estate is opened. It is also where nursing home wrongful death settlements and verdicts are processed before the funds can be distributed to family members and charities.

The Franklin County Probate Court is located at:

Probate Court
373 S. High Street, 22nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6311
(614) 525-3894

Court Hours
Mon – Fri 8 am – 5 pm

The Franklin County probate judge who handles Columbus nursing home wrongful death probate matters is Judge Robert G. Montgomery.

Professional headshot of Judge Robert G. Montgomery wearing dark suit jacket, white shirt, light blue tie, in front of a blue background with part of American flag visible on the left side of the frame

Judge Robert G. Montgomery oversees the Franklin County Probate Court where nursing home wrongful death case settlements are approved.

Judge Robert G. Montgomery was elected Probate Judge by the people of Franklin County on November 2, 2010 and took office on January 1, 2011. He was re-elected to a new six-year term on November 4, 2014.  By law, Judge Montgomery serves as Administrative Judge of the Probate Division of the Common Pleas Courts, as well as, clerk of his own court.

Learn more about Judge Montgomery.

How do I Hire You to be my Columbus Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer?

The first thing to do is complete the contact form at the bottom of this page. That way, you can put in details that we can review before we schedule a phone call.

You can also call us at 216-777-8856 if you prefer.

You will likely not speak to us immediately, but will schedule a phone or in-person meeting. Why? Because we’re busy working on the important cases other families have entrusted to us. Just like we would not constantly take phone calls when we’re entrusted to work on your case.

You should also gather all the records and papers you have from the medical providers, go back and look for dates, names, and events that happened, and otherwise prepare to discuss the case. We’ll have a meeting and, if it seems like a case we’d be a good fit for, we’ll move into an investigation phase.

Once we’ve investigated, we’ll candidly tell you what we think about what happened, whether the medical provider is to blame, and what we think about the strength of the case.

Fair warning: we only take on clients whose cases we believe have very strong merits. We’re not lazy—the cases are still very complex, difficult, and expensive—but the risk to your family of being drawn into a difficult process with little chance of a positive outcome is not something we do.

Which means when we do take on a case, our reputation tells the other side this is a serious case we believe in.

If for whatever reason we do not take on the case, and we think there is some merit to the case, we’ll try and help you find a lawyer who might take it on.

Do you have questions about a possible Columbus Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect case? Contact us now using this confidential form. We'll help you get answers.

 Our No Fear Guarantee 

You’ve probably seen the lawyer ads: “No Fee Guarantee!” “No Fees if We Don’t Win!”   

Guess what? That’s true for just about any plaintiff’s lawyer.  It’s what a “contingency fee” means.  It doesn’t mean they’ll work hard.  Or get a good result for you.  It doesn’t mean much at all.

What we promise you is a NO FEAR guarantee.

What does that mean?  For 99% of our clients, a medical injury caused by negligence is new.  The medical malpractice lawsuit process is new.  Depositions, discovery, trial . . . everything is new.

New can be scary.  Especially when it involves having to testify under oath.

We’ve developed systems that let you address and move past the fear. Through education and information about the process. Role-playing and other preparation techniques. We empower you to be fearless.  Because this process is hard enough.

Contact us now.

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Find the Right Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers for You

Nursing homes are regulated by federal and state regulations that most personal injury lawyers know nothing about.

If you're looking to take on a nursing home, you need a lawyer who knows those rules.

We exclusively handle medical claims, with a focus on nursing home abuse and neglect. We've tried these cases and obtained millions in damages at trial. 100% our cases involve the failure to provide appropriate hospital, medical, and nursing care to members of the community.

How We’re Paid

We advance the costs of the investigation and lawsuit.  We only get paid from money we collect in a settlement of verdict: there’s never a bill to you.

By taking on all the risk, you can be sure we’re only going to take on cases we believe in fully.

What Can We Do to Improve Nursing Home Conduct?

Nursing Homes are corporations: they speak the language of money.  Corporations, even non-profit corporations, are not real people; they do not have hearts, minds, or souls.

In our experience, holding a medical corporation responsible and accountable for carelessly injuring patients through a money verdict at trial, or a settlement motivated by their fear of trial, is the best way to make sure there is change.

A well-fought lawsuit can help prevent other people from being injured in the same way.

What Damages are Available?

Money damages available in a nursing home lawsuit can involve economic costs (medical bills, etc.), emotional harms like pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and, if the injuries cause death, the mental anguish and loss of family members for wrongful death.

Many states allow for punitive damages when a medical corporation consciously disregards a patient’s rights and safety with a great probability of causing substantial harm. They are awarded in exceptional cases.

We’ve proven punitive damages at trial, including a $3,000,000 verdict for punitive damages against one of the largest medical companies in America.

Punitive damages are intended to punish, deter the defendant from doing the same thing in the future, and reform the nursing home industry.

What Else Can I do Besides Contacting You?

Once you contact us, you'll get a list of next steps, as well as emails explaining how the process works.  So contact us now, or call us at 216-777-8856.

I Have More Questions...

If you're like most of our clients, you have a lot more questions.

The best way to get answers is to contact us now, then ask us.  But don't worry!  Contacting us costs you nothing, and you are not locked into hiring us

There's no risk in contacting us.  And you'll receive more information on how these cases work, including free access to our library of important information on nursing home and wrongful death cases.