New Mexico Nursing Homes Facing New Allegations of Fatal Elder Abuse

- Charles Ruhmann

Several nursing homes across the state of New Mexico are facing fresh allegations of abuse and neglect from families of elderly residents, as well as a whistleblower, who have accused the facilities of poorly managing residents to the point that it resulted in injury, and even death.

The case, which is being spearheaded by the state attorney general’s office, dates back to 2014, when the state launched an investigation into a company operating several nursing home facilities across the state. The investigation returned evidence that those facilities were not only understaffed, but poorly managed as well.

As a result, according to the lawsuit, the staff at the company facilities took an unreasonable long time to perform simple, necessary tasks, including feeding and bathing residents. In several cases, the lawsuit claims, residents’ injuries or conditions were exacerbated by the facility, to the point that it resulted in death.

The complaint further alleges that the company accepted both federal and state tax dollars for services and quality of care that was provided, despite it being expected – a sum the attorney general estimates to be well over $150 million.

Nursing Home Neglect

Any nursing home conduct, and the laws that establish expectations for such conduct, are overseen by the state Department of Health. Such laws exist to help ensure that all facilities are helping to improve or maintain the physical, psychosocial and mental welfare of their residents, and cover all facets of medical care, including staff, facility operations, residents’ rights and medical services.

According to current state law, nursing home facilities around Albuquerque and the rest of New Mexico are required to staff appropriately – one person for every nine or 10 residents – and maintain appropriate hours to ensure quality care, including requirements that:

  • One director of nursing be employed full time
  • One LPN or RN charge nurse is available at all times, 24/7
  • One member of nursing staff is on duty at all times
  • The director of nursing be available to fill the role of charge nurse
  • The director of nursing, assistant, or nursing department head be on hand and available during direct care staff hours

Failures to adhere to these laws, or the respective standards of care, are not to be taken lightly, as they can result in severe injury, or in some cases like the case above has claimed, even death.

If you or someone you love is residing in a nursing home facility and has experienced abuse or neglect, know that you are not alone, and there are legal options available to you. In Albuquerque and the surrounding communities in New Mexico, there are personal injury attorneys who specialize in handling elder abuse and nursing home neglect claims.

Finding Legal Help in Albuquerque

That’s where the dedicated legal team at the Ruhmann Law Firm comes in. For those residing in and around Albuquerque, our team of dedicated personal injury specialists is available to provide sound legal counsel on a broad array of personal injury matters, including cases involving elder abuse or nursing home neglect. We understand that dealing with any type of abuse is never easy, and many victims may be hesitant to come forward. That’s why we are committed to working tirelessly to protect your rights, as they exist under the law.

Let us provide the help and guidance you need – we are available anytime, and are committed to helping you find the justice you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation with our personal injury team, contact the Ruhmann Law Firm today at (575) 525-8542.