As we have discussed previously on this blog, nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect are much more common than many people realize. It only takes one rogue employee to seriously injure or even kill a vulnerable resident. The aftermath of such an incident can be devastating. Those victims who are fortunate enough to survive can be left facing extreme pain and suffering, a worsened medical condition with, perhaps, a decreased chance of survival and additional medical expenses. Surviving family members can be left with similar damages, and their emotional harm can be immeasurable.
While these victims can pursue a lawsuit against the individual nursing home employee who injured them, they may not be able to recover enough compensation from him or her to satisfy the damages imposed. Fortunately, these parties may be able to reach deeper pockets by pursuing a vicarious liability lawsuit against the nursing home that employed the party responsible for the victim’s harm.
Under the legal theory of vicarious liability, an employer can be held liable for employee’s actions if certain requirements are satisfied. Generally speaking, the incident in question must have occurred while the employee was performing his or her job duties during a time when he or she was supposed to be working before vicarious liability can apply. Also, in order to succeed under one of these lawsuits, one must put forth evidence showing that the employer was benefiting in some way from the type of work being performed by the employee at the time of the incident. This last element is typically relatively easy to show, as employers usually receive some sort of financial benefit from their employees’ service.
Lawsuits following an instance of nursing home abuse or neglect can be rather challenging, especially when a nursing home company itself is dragged into the lawsuit. They are often represented by aggressive defense attorneys who know a lot about this area of the law and how to use it to their advantage. This is why victims and their families need to be just as prepared before moving forward with a claim.