• Andrew Littlejohn Johnson

South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Few things are more frustrating than when your loved one is injured at the hands of nursing home or assisted living staff whom you are paying to care for your family member. Nursing home abuse and neglect should never happen. However, due to some facilities understaffing, cutting corners, mismanaging, and negligently hiring bad workers, elderly residents are put at risk every day.


South Carolina attorney Andrew Littlejohn Johnson explains what goes into a nursing home case, what constitutes abuse and neglect, and what the expected outcomes may be.



What Constitutes Neglect in a Nursing Home


Generally speaking, neglect occurs when a nursing home (or assisted living) employee fails to provide reasonable care to a resident and, due to the employee's failure, the resident is injured. This could be a failure to do something or a failure not to do something. Examples of nursing home neglect include:

  • Bedsores (pressure ulcers)

  • Asphyxiation

  • Dehydration

  • Malnutrition

  • Improper Medication

  • Unexplained Injuries

  • Infections

  • Wrongful Death


What Constitutes Abuse in a Nursing Home


Nursing home abuse is when a nursing home (or assisted living) employee purposefully inflicts emotional, physical, or psychological harm upon a resident. Examples of nursing home abuse include:

  • continual yelling at a resident

  • physical abuse (e.g., hitting and kicking)

  • punishing a resident

  • purposeful medication errors

  • sexual assault

  • sexual humiliation

  • starving a resident

  • threatening/frightening a resident

  • unreasonable restraint or confinement


Claims Against Nursing Homes


In these cases, the claims we bring are sometimes broader than alleging a specific form of abuse or neglect. We also can allege violations of statutes (e.g., minimal staffing requirements, elder abuse, etc.). Additionally, the facility may have negligent hired, supervised, or retained its staff; this is a separate cause of action against a nursing home. There may also be a medical malpractice angle if the facility's physician or a separate doctor breached the standard of care and was grossly negligent in treating the resident. Finally, the facility may be held liable for the actions of its employees, which goes directly back to any specific abuse or neglect.



How Much is a Nursing Home Case Worth


Each case we have is different. The financial evaluation of all cases depends on (1) the severity of the bad act, (2) the number of bad acts, (3) the amount of harm inflicted, (4) the amount of insurance coverage, (5) the existence of caps on recovery, and (6) the types and amount of evidence showing a system failure within the defendant company.


At Littlejohn Law, we develop each of these points, and we expand on each factor by obtaining documentation showing the constant or consistent nature of the abuse and neglect, as well as the facility's knowledge of the occurrences. Through litigation, we obtain documents like hiring forms, medical histories, log books, manuals, reports, notes, other complaints, and much more. Many times, we can show that the injury to the resident was not due to one action; instead, it was due to the facility placing its bottom line profits over the health of an individual in need (e.g., not having thorough enough hiring requirements, not having enough staff, not fixing issues within the facility).


Additionally, we illuminate the damages to the injured family member by evaluating the medical records, speaking to loved ones, developing a narrative of the injuries and their effects, and getting statements from individuals who witnessed the changes and impacts upon the loved one. Each of these actions typically adds more and more value to a case.



Experienced Nursing Home Neglect Attorney in South Carolina


Speaking with Andrew about your case is free and confidential. Most nursing home cases require an initial evaluation period, during which we obtain medical documentation and public information on the facility. Once we have our legal theories in order, we meet with the clients in-person to discuss the viability of the case and the pathway to recovery. Hiring an attorney is a heavy decision; yet, sometimes, it is the best way to move things along and get closure during a difficult time in your life. To begin the process of obtaining justice for your loved one, give us a call today at 803-764-4099 or email Andrew at andrew@littlejohn.law.