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Stun gun used on nursing home resident suffering from dementia

Most people view nursing homes as a place their loved ones with serious medical conditions can reside, either for the remainder of their lives, or while recovering from serious injuries. In situations where individuals are dealing with serious illness that they will not recover from, the decision to move them into such a facility can be a difficult one. This is true whether the nursing home facility is in the Pittsburgh area or elsewhere in the country.

For those who do decide to move a loved one into a nursing home, the expectation is that the person will receive proper care and will live in a safe environment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and residents may suffer injuries due to the negligence of those who are supposed to be providing that care. This was apparently the case in another state involving a 77-year-old man.

The man, a Korean War veteran, was resident of a veterans' home and had Alzheimer's disease. Individuals with this condition are often prone to wandering off and are unable to find their way back. One day after he moved into the facility, he reportedly did just that. Though he was found by employees of the home, they reportedly had a hard time getting him to return to the veterans' home. Accordingly, they sought backup by calling 911.

Police apparently had no more success than the staff of the veterans' home and eventually used a stun gun to subdue the man. The use of that machine reportedly caused the man to fall to the street and hit his head. The man was taken to an area hospital where he died several weeks later.

The family of the man recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with the matter seeking unspecified damages. The claim names several defendants including the nursing home, the police department and the state's Department of Public Health and Human Services. In addition to negligence on the part of all of the defendants, the claim asserts the police committed assault and battery. It also alleges the nursing home committed nursing malpractice and medical malpractice.

Source: Helena Independent Record, "77-year-old dies after wandering from Montana Veterans Home, being Tased," Sanjay Talwani, April 15, 2013

We handle personal injury cases including those related wrongful death. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Pittsburgh nursing home death page.

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