When you entrust a loved one to the care of a nursing home, you understand that there are certain risks and that certain bad things can happen. The chances are, though, that you don’t expect that those things include having your loved one brutally killed by their roommate in an unprovoked attack. Depending on the circumstances of the attack and the events leading up to the attack, the nursing home may have some responsibility for creating the conditions that led to the death. If that happens, your family might have certain legal rights against the nursing home. A knowledgeable Massachusetts nursing home negligence attorney can advise you about your options.
One of the most recent fatal roommate-on-roommate nursing home attack cases, reported by the Boston Globe, occurred at a nursing home in Randolph. The 86-year-old James was lying in bed when his roommate, the 58-year-old Walter, attacked him with a heavy ceramic flower pot. The next day, the injured man died from severe head trauma.
James’ death is not the first of its kind in Massachusetts. A few years ago, a family pursued a wrongful death action on behalf of their 100-year-old loved one. Elizabeth died after her 98-year-old nursing home roommate, Laura, beat her and then strangled and suffocated her with a plastic bag. Elizabeth’s family was unable to win their wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home because they simply didn’t have the evidence they needed to show that the nursing home knew or should have known that Laura was at risk of murdering her roommate.