Assisted Living Facility Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Benton House Of West Ashley fills a need for families with relatives who need assistance and care. Like many facilities in the Charleston area, they help maintain your loved one’s health, security, and safety. Their elegant apartment communities and available amenities help simplify difficult care decisions. Despite their charm and positive public reputation, they do not always maintain the consistent standards their marketing materials suggest.
Assisted living facilities provide services that allow vulnerable residents the independence they desire. Sadly, some residents who receive personal care become victims of negligence or abuse. State and federal laws consider it abuse when a trusted caregiver causes physical, financial, or emotional injuries. If your loved one has encountered any of these problems, you need a legal advocate to protect their legal rights and restore their peace of mind-someone who has fought and won cases against Benton House of West Ashley, like the Hughey Law Firm.
We Hold Assisted Living Facilities Responsible for Their Actions
At Hughey Law Firm, we have always worked hard to make responsible parties pay. We have seen countless examples of negligence, neglect, and outright abuse. For every case we have handled, we have offered our consistent commitment to producing a just outcome.
Our attorneys have learned that even the most charming facilities have the potential for hidden issues. We have succeeded with some of the most difficult cases by tracking down elusive evidence, dealing aggressively with responsible parties, and refusing to back down.
Hughey Law Firm’s Case Results
As of November 2021, our law firm has recovered over $165 million for our clients, including cases against Benton House of West Ashley. Our attorneys handled every case aggressively to pursue the best results possible. We have avoided the litigation process by resolving claims through aggressive negotiation, mediation, and other Alternative Dispute Resolution methods.
Our attorneys have understood that we must take some cases to trial to get the best possible results. When it was appropriate, we have had no problem preparing our cases and presenting our evidence in a courtroom.
As no two cases involve the same circumstances, we have never guaranteed a specific outcome. Instead, we promised our clients that we would always work hard on their behalf.
We believe that our case results confirm our commitment and dedication.
- Truck Accident, $5,425,000.00 Settlement: A truck collided with our client causing injuries that rendered them paraplegic. We settled the case during pending litigation.
- Assisted Living, Wrongful Death Settlement, $1,375,000.00: Our young autistic client escaped their assisted living facility, and a drunk driver fatally injured them.
- Nursing Home Negligence Settlement, $1,375,000.00: Our client sustained pressure sores while living in a nursing home.
- Premises Liability Slip and Fall Settlement, $1,000,500: Our client slipped and fell on someone’s property and sustained injuries.
Benton House of West Ashley
Benton House is an affiliate of the Principal Senior Living Group, LLC in Alpharetta, GA. The company owns and operates senior living facilities in South Carolina, Kansas, Missouri, Florida, and Georgia.
Benton House of West Ashley in Charleston provides apartment-style living for older adults. Residents eat in community dining rooms and participate in planned activities. They live independently but have access to optional support services such as housekeeping, medication assistance, grooming, bathing, and other personal care services.
The facility offers two types of residential arrangements and adult daycare.
- Assisted living: Adults live independently in small apartment communities.
- Alzheimer’s Care: Adults live in an apartment community with a keypad entry. They have assistance and support when required.
- Adult Daycare: Benton House provides a daytime-only option that gives family members a break.
As an assisted living facility, Benton House provides enhanced living and temporary care arrangements. Visiting physicians come to the property to treat residents, but the facility itself provides no medical treatment. Because they provide residential services only, their care does not usually qualify for Medicare or Medicaid funds. As they receive no federal funds and the US Federal Code contains no regulations governing assisted living facility operations, they avoid stringent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) inspection requirements.
Benton House is a Community Residential Care Facility or “Facility,” as defined by South Carolina’s licensing Regulation 61-84 and Title 43 – Social Services Code. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has sole responsibility for determining compliance with state statutes, guidelines, and healthcare quality enforcement actions.
Assisted Living Facility Abuse
When government agencies recognized elder abuse as a pervasive problem, they identified and categorized the primary causes.
- Physical Abuse: Physical injuries such as bruises, fractures, internal damage, and other issues.
- Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual sexual contact. This often occurs when the person is incapable of granting permission.
- Emotional or Psychological: The victim experiences emotional turmoil such as anguish and distress due to humiliation, threats, and verbal attacks.
- Neglect: Neglect sometimes involves unsanitary conditions, inadequate medical treatment, bedsores, inadequate nourishment, dehydration, and overmedication.
- Financial or Material Exploitation: Someone obtains an elderly person’s money through illegal means. This often involves the misuse of bank accounts and other assets through deception or outright theft.
A Department of Justice study, An Examination of Resident Abuse in Assisted Living Facilities, determined that abusers in caregiving situations often targeted the most vulnerable victims. Residents with cognitive, physical, and behavioral impairments have problems recognizing abusive treatment when it occurs. When they have memory issues, they cannot always recall when or if abuse occurred. If they have speech problems, they cannot always communicate their concerns.
Who Is Responsible for Abuse in Assisted Living Facilities?
The Benton House staff maintains sole control over their Memory Care residents. This arrangement makes them potentially liable for injuries due to abuse or neglect. Memory Care residents remain secure in their locked residential care “neighborhood.” They receive more personal care services than Independent Living residents. This arrangement brings more caregivers into their environment. It also presents more opportunities for abuse.
Studies have found that care facilities have many care issues in common. Abuse often occurs due to hiring unqualified employees, inadequate training, and improper supervision.
Many people can share liability when abusive incidents occur.
- Administrator: Administrators oversee hiring, training, and supervision or they have control over the employees who perform these tasks. When an employee commits a negligent or intentional act, the administrator can share responsibility.
- Employees: Employees are usually responsible for their intentional acts. When they comply with job-related duties, the facility may also assume responsibility for their negligence.
- Medical Practitioners: Non-employee doctors and nurses have responsibility for negligence. Often malpractice insurance covers any claims.
- Contract employees: If a caregiver works as an independent contractor, they often execute a hold harmless or indemnification agreement. This makes them both responsible and contractually liable for their actions.
What Damages Can an Abused Resident Recover?
The abuse settlements we have negotiated have included Economic (Special) Damages and General Damages. Juries also award Punitive Damages under certain circumstances.
Economic or special damages include total out-of-pocket costs incurred during your treatment and recovery.
These often include:
- Hospital expenses
- Doctor expenses
- Physical and psychological therapy
- Prosthetics and mobility equipment
- Relocation costs
- Funeral and burial expenses
General damages pay for psychological, emotional, and other trauma a victim deals with due to abuse.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of spousal relationship
- Diminished family relationships
- Lost bodily functions
- Scars and disfigurement
- Wrongful death
When we try a case, juries consider awarding punitive damages based on SC Code §15-32-510 guidelines. You must present “…clear and convincing evidence…” that the defendant’s acts involved “…willful, wanton, or reckless conduct.”
How Does an Assisted Living Facility Defend Their Actions?
Care facilities often initiate their defense by denying liability for any abuse, neglect, or injuries. Until we have obtained the relevant evidence, the advantage often leans in their favor. Care facilities maintain a degree of control over abused residents, their medical records, and the employees that provided the abusive care. This control is a strong measure of a facility’s negligence. It also creates investigative challenges for an injured party and their attorneys.
Even after the physical evidence verifies that abuse occurred, facilities often avoid settlement as long as possible. In defending their clients, they retain a consistent defense posture during negotiations, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and trial.
At Hughey Law Firm, we have stood our ground against Community Residential Care Facilities and their defense lawyers. Our legal team has built strong plaintiffs’ cases by conducting a comprehensive investigation into every allegation. We have developed winning strategies by evaluating the evidence and preparing our clients’ cases to produce the best possible results.
Assisted Living Facility Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
If your family member sustained injuries due to abuse at Benton House Of West Ashley, contact Hughey Law Firm. Our attorneys have represented vulnerable people in residential facilities throughout the Charleston metro region. Call us at (843) 881-8644, click our chat window, or complete our contact form. We will discuss your case and review your legal options during a free consultation.
“Thank you Hughey Law Firm! It was a pleasure to work with you on my case! From the beginning, every contact I had with your firm was professional, kind, helpful, and painless! I always felt kept in the loop, and important to you as a client. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney with integrity, I would highly recommend Hughey Law Firm!”
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