ST. LOUIS NURSING HOME ABUSE ATTORNEY

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This content has been written by a team of legal writers and reviewed by Terry Crouppen

Leaving your loved ones in the care of others is never easy. When you discover that your family member was abused by those you entrusted with their care, it can be devastating and overwhelming. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are not uncommon in St. Louis and Missouri. 

You need to be free to focus on helping your loved one recover from the abuse and neglect while also coping with your own feelings and managing the logistics of their care. Let the award-winning St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyers at Brown & Crouppen take on the culpable nursing home on behalf of your loved one and seek justice and financial compensation for their suffering. 

Since 1979, we have helped our clients recover over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts, including in nursing home abuse and neglect claims. Call (314) 501-9510 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. 

Nusing home abuse and neglect legal guide CTA
Legal Guide: Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Use our guide learn how to handle nursing home abuse and neglect, along with key legal considerations and insights.

Why Hire a St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?

Nursing homes are often part of large corporations with vast resources available to them. They hire legal teams to defend them against abuse claims. Level the playing field by working with Brown & Crouppen’s nursing home abuse lawyers. Among other things, our experienced legal team of nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys provides the following services:

  • Case Evaluation – Assessing the details of your situation to determine if you have a viable nursing home abuse case.
  • Investigation – Conducting a thorough investigation to gather evidence of abuse or neglect.
  • Communication – Keeping you informed about the progress of your case and addressing any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Support – Providing compassionate support and guidance throughout the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected.
  • Aggressively Pursuing Compensation – Seeking maximum compensation for damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
  • Securing Expect Tesimony  – Collaborating with experts in medicine, elder care, and other relevant fields to strengthen your case.
  • Settlement Negotiation – Negotiating a fair settlement that accounts for the physical, emotional, and financial harm caused by the nursing home abuse.
  • Litigation – Representing you in court if litigation becomes necessary to pursue justice and compensation.

With over 40 years of experience, the Missouri nursing home attorneys at Brown & Crouppen have the resources to take on nursing homes and know what it takes to get the case results our clients need and deserve. 

Brown & Crouppen Nursing Home Settlements

  • $748,848 – Nursing home neglect led to multiple bedsores led to severe infection
  • $400,000 – Nursing home neglect led to bed sores and sepsis
  • $407,046 – Neglect led to choking and brain damage/coma
  • $500,000 – Abuse victim had bedsores that led to toxic shock syndrome
  • $1,000,000 – Nursing home patient was murdered by her roommate
  • $900,000 – Nursing home patient suffered from bedsores and severe burns

Recover Compensation with a St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect, a St. Louis nursing home abuse attorney can help you determine if you’re eligible to recover compensation. This may include compensation for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

1. Economic damages: Economic damages are compensation for monetary losses you can prove with documentation. Monetary losses from nursing home abuse may include medical expenses (such as surgery), costs associated with moving to a safe facility, psychological counseling, assistive devices, lost wages of intervening family members, and the value of real or personal property that was stolen, lost, or destroyed.

2. Non-Economic damages: Non-economic damages are compensation for harder-to-value, subjective losses, including: Pain, Suffering, Emotional distress, Loss of bodily functions, humiliation, inconvenience. Missouri limits the non-economic damages you can recover and adjusts the limit by inflation annually. In 2023, the non-economic damages limit is $457,749 unless the injuries qualify as catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries are defined as one of the following:

  • Quadriplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • The loss of at least two limbs
  • Significant, permanent cognitive impairment
  • Irreversible organ failure
  • Significant vision loss

If you or your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect that has resulted in a catastrophic injury, you can recover as much as $801,061 in non-economic damages in 2023.

3. Punitive damages: Damages are occasionally awarded to punish the defendant, which are known as punitive damages. In Missouri medical malpractice claims, you must prove the defendant deliberately or maliciously inflicted the injury to receive punitive damages. This is often provable in nursing home abuse cases.

4. Wrongful death: When nursing home abuse and neglect tragically result in the death of a family member, your family may be entitled to recover substantial compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death damages burial expenses, pain & suffering of the deceased, loss of companionship, loss of guidance, emotional support counsel, medical expenses of the deceased, lost income of the deceased, and punitive damages.

Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in St. Louis

Elder abuse can be categorized into six types:

Physical abuse

  • Inflicting physical harm or injury, such as hitting, punching, or restraining.

Emotional or psychological abuse

  • Causing emotional pain or distress through verbal insults, threats, intimidation, or isolation.

Financial exploitation

  •  Illegally or improperly using a person’s funds, property, or assets for personal gain, such as stealing money, forging signatures, or coercing financial transactions.

Neglect

  • Failing to provide necessary care, assistance, or supervision to meet a person’s basic needs, such as dehydration and malnutrition, shelter, medical care, or hygiene.

Sexual abuse

  • Inappropriate sexual contact, harassment, or exploitation of a person, including unwanted touching, sexual assault, or coercion.

Healthcare fraud and abuse

  • Overcharging for services, prescribing unnecessary treatments or medications, or providing substandard care in healthcare settings such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Elder Abuse and COVID-19

One of the many devastating impacts of COVID-19 is an increase in elder abuse. According to one study published by the National Library of Medicine, the number of adults 80 years of age and older suffering from abuse increased by 83.6 percent during the pandemic. More cases of extreme weight loss, dehydration, untreated bedsores, poor hygiene, mental and physical decline, and inappropriate use of psychotropic medications, among other things, were reported. 

According to Human Rights Watch, several factors contributed to increased nursing home abuse. Staff shortages, which were already an issue before the pandemic, became more extreme, creating a situation ripe for abuse and neglect. Family members who typically helped with basic day-to-day tasks were prohibited from entering facilities. Overworked nursing home like senath south health care center staff are also less likely to notice changes in the patient’s normal behavior than family members residents are more likely to trust. Additionally, forced isolation from loved ones led to chronic loneliness and depression. 

Although Missouri law requires inspections every 15 months, inspections were halted at the beginning of the pandemic. Due to the temporary inspection shutdown, loss of inspection staff, and an overall increase in complaints, Missouri is far behind on regular inspections. Without regular inspections, nursing home abuse may not be identified and addressed. 

Warning Signs & Effects of Nursing Home Abuse

Recognizing abuse can be hard, in part because nursing home residents often do not report. Victims may feel a loss of dignity and be embarrassed by the situation, blaming themselves and not wanting to worry about their loved ones. They may also fear retaliation by those they rely on to care for them. Family members can help watch for warning signs of abuse. These include:

Physical changes

Including new or worsening bedsores, unexplained injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, weight loss or gain, dehydration, sedation, physical decline, and injuries due to restraints or falls.

Behavioral changes

Including increased anxiety, withdrawal, cognitive decline, fear of being touched, avoiding specific staff members, and attempts to elope.

Sleep

Significant changes in sleep patterns.

Finances

Changes in spending patterns.

Cleanliness

Poor personal hygiene and unsanitary living areas.

Communication issues

Illness or injury not reported to family.

Facility decline

Long-term issues at the nursing home, such as high staff turnover, unfamiliarity with residents, calls for assistance going ignored, unclean environment, odor issues, and food service issues.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Our Firm Handles

At Brown & Crouppen, we believe that everyone deserves access to the best representation possible, which is why our St. Louis nursing home abuse law firm handles all kinds of nursing home abuse cases, including:

justice statue

Get started with a free consultation with one of our skilled Personal Injury Lawyers today.

St. Louis Nursing Home News & Updates

Family Members Cannot Locate Loved Ones Moved From Closed Nursing Home

According to a December 2023 report by Fox2Now, Levare Westbrook and others with loved ones housed at the recently closed Northview Village Nursing Home in northern St. Louis were not told where their family members were moved to. Several local nursing homes took in the displaced residents, making it difficult to determine each person’s new home. Levare Westbrook, whose 82-year-old mother suffers from dementia, was unable to locate her for several days.  

Displaced Resident Missing for Three Weeks

In January 2024, The Associated Press reported that Fredrick Caruthers, a 61-year-old nursing home resident with schizophrenia, was found after a three-week-long search. Mr. Caruthers, one of 175 residents at Northview Village Nursing Home displaced when the facility was closed in late 2023, walked off as residents were being put into transportation to their new homes. Despite not having his medication for three weeks, Mr. Caruthers appeared unharmed. 

Residents of Abruptly Closed Nursing Home Moved Without Records or Belongings

Yet again after the abrupt closure of Northview Village Nursing Home, some displaced residents arrived at their new homes without their records, medication lists, or belongings.

Over 70 Missouri Nursing Homes Not Inspected for More Than Two Years

The Missouri Independent reports that, as of August 2023, 126 of 510 nursing homes in Missouri had not been inspected in at least two years. Inspection delays are attributed to pandemic-related disruptions, staffing shortages, and an increase in urgent complaints that must be addressed within a shorter time frame. 

Missouri Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, one in ten people over 60 years of age endured abuse of some kind within the past year. The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services reports that the problem may be even worse than available data reveals, with experts suspecting as many as 23 cases of unreported abuse for every case that is reported. 

According to Lisa Cox of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, complaints of abuse in nursing homes have increased by over 36 percent over the past four years, with an increase of 125 percent in cases so severe that inspection is required within 24 hours. 

Of the 510 nursing homes in Missouri, only 21 received a five-star rating from U.S. News & World Report. According to ProPublica, an independent nonprofit newsroom, 2,930 deficiencies were reported as of November 2023. 

What To Do if You or a Loved One Experiences Nursing Home Abuse in St. Louis

If you are experiencing abuse or neglect or suspect that a loved one is being abused in their nursing home, you may feel overwhelmed and powerless. However, there are ways you regain control of the situation and put a stop to the abuse. 

  • Call 911 if there is immediate danger. In less urgent situations, file a report with the St. Louis Police Department by calling (314) 231-1212. 
  • Report abuse to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services through its 24-hour online portal or call (800) 392-0210 between 7–12 am CST.
  • Secure the information and other evidence your loved one needs to seek compensation for abuse. Retain all documents and medical records related to the abuse, take photographs, and keep notes of conversations with your loved one, nursing home staff, other residents, other family members, and medical professionals. 
  • Get to know other residents and their family members. 
  • Get involved with a resident or family group associated with the nursing home. 
  • Contact the award-winning nursing home abuse attorneys at Brown & Crouppen for a free case evaluation. 

Get a Free Case Evaluation From a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney at Brown & Crouppen

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of nursing home abuse in St. Louis or surrounding areas, get help from a lawyer at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm. Since 1979, our attorneys have recovered over $1 billion for clients, including settlements and verdicts from nursing home abuse cases.

Getting started with your case is easy. Call us at (314) 501-9510 for a free consultation, or find out if you have a case online. And remember, there’s no upfront cost to you — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to file a nursing home abuse claim?

The Missouri statute of limitations for nursing home abuse injuries is generally five years from the date of the injury.  If the case stems from a failure of the nursing home to inform you or your loved one of a test result, the statute of limitations begins to run on the date the injury is or should reasonably have been discovered. However, the suit cannot be filed later than 10 years after the date of the injury. 

If the case is the result of medical malpractice, a separate statute of limitations applies with a timeline of two years from the date of the patient’s injury. If your Missouri nursing home abuse claim pertains to the death of a resident, a separate statute of limitations applies with a deadline of three years from the date of the resident’s death. 

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Lawsuit?

Resolving a nursing home abuse case can take as little as a few months. However, they normally take between one and two years, especially if the case is not settled out of court. 

How much is my nursing home abuse case worth?

The average settlement for nursing home abuse and neglect case overall is approximately $248,000. However, this is not representative of your case, and settlement amounts will vary due to many factors that are unique to your case.

How long will my case take?

Nursing home abuse cases often take between 1 and 2 years to settle. However, the the length of  your nursing home abuse case will ultimately depend on various circumstances and factors that are unique to your case.

Who is liable for nursing home abuse & neglect?

Nursing home abuse is a form of medical malpractice, which occurs when a health care provider causes harm by failing to provide a reasonable standard of care.

Nursing homes in Missouri have a legal duty to protect residents from harm. Consequently, nursing homes are responsible for any abuse a resident experiences, regardless of whether the perpetrator is a staff member. In a nursing home abuse lawsuit, an individual perpetrator, such as a doctor or nurse, may also be named.

How common is nursing home abuse in St. Louis?

Of the 130 Medicare-certified nursing homes in the St. Louis region, 90 have below-average ratings, indicating a low standard of care and a higher risk of abuse. However, it is important to be aware that abuse may occur in facilities with any rating.

Three of the 14 nursing homes located within the city limits have average ratings, while 10 are below average. Eight are “much below average,” and one is unrated. The following St. Louis nursing homes have been cited for “freedom from abuse, neglect, and exploitation deficiencies” during the past three years:

  • Landsdowne Village
  • Royal Oaks Nursing & Rehab
  • Bernard Care Center 
  • Beauvais Rehab and Healthcare Center
  • Carrie Elligson Gietner Home
  • Dutchtown Care Center
  • Grand Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
  • Blue Circle Rehab and Nursing
  • Autumn Meadows of Cahokia
  • Life Care Center of St. Louis

Except for Life Care Center of St. Louis, all 13 of the rated nursing home facilities in St. Louis were cited for resident rights deficiencies, and most were also cited for nutrition and dietary deficiencies.

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