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Nursing Home Resident Declared Dead but Found Alive at Funeral Home

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

chicago nursing home injury lawyerA Long Island skilled nursing facility is facing serious criticism and an ongoing investigation after one of its residents was declared dead, only for the 82-year-old woman found to be breathing at a nearby funeral home a few hours later. Currently, there are countless questions that remain unanswered, and there has been no official statement yet from the woman’s family.

A Potentially Tragic Turn of Events

According to reports, the resident was pronounced dead at 11:15 this past Saturday morning at a nursing home in Port Jefferson, New York. Suffolk County police say the woman was transported to a funeral home in the nearby hamlet of Miller Place about two hours later. About 40 minutes after being taken to the funeral home, the woman was found to be breathing by funeral home staff members.

The funeral home staff notified authorities and had the woman transported to a hospital. Updates were not made available regarding her condition. In addition, authorities have not released the woman’s identity. The funeral home issued a statement that said they would not comment further in order to protect the family’s privacy. The nursing home has, thus far, not provided news outlets with any comment whatsoever.

What Happens Next?

Sadly, this is not the first time that something like this has happened in the United States. In fact, it is not even the first time this year. A similar incident occurred at an Alzheimer’s specialized care facility and funeral home in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, last month. In that case, a nurse practitioner reportedly declared a 66-year-old woman dead, but the woman was found breathing and zipped inside a body bag at a funeral home a few hours later. The nursing home was fined $10,000 by state authorities.

In the Long Island case, details have been forwarded to the New York State Attorney General’s office for further review. Experts believe that fines and other sanctions are likely from the state. It is also very likely that a civil lawsuit will be filed against the facility by the resident’s family.

It is very difficult to imagine the severe emotional effects of such a situation on the resident and her loved ones. A civil lawsuit would most likely seek to hold the nursing home responsible for any injuries or losses she sustained. However, in order for such a lawsuit to be successful, representatives for the woman will need to show that the nursing home and/or its staff members acted in a manner that was not compliant with the expected standards of nursing home care.

Speak With a Chicago Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

While your loved one in a nursing home is very unlikely to be declared dead mistakenly, there are many other ways in which they could suffer as the result of substandard nursing care. If you have questions about what constitutes substandard care, contact an experienced Illinois nursing home neglect attorney at Schwartz Injury Law. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation with a member of the team at Schwartz Injury Law today.



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