By: William M. Berman, Managing Partner
Los Angeles — California Highway Patrol Officer Jose Nunez reported that the body of an elderly man was found in the bushes by a passerby off to the side of Southbound lanes of traffic on the 405 Freeway near Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles today. The person who came across the victim was walking on the side shoulder of traffic having stopped for car trouble and came across the body.
Although the victim has yet to be identified, the deceased man appeared to be in his mid-60s and was dressed as if he had just been released from a hospital or skilled nursing facility. But whether the man was actually released from a hospital or skilled nursing facility or simply wandered away before being killed is still being investigated.
Wandering incidents from hospitals and skilled nursing facilities involving the elderly are, unfortunately, not uncommon. Many elderly patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have tendencies to become confused. When an elderly individual with confusion forgets where they are, or desires to leave the facility they are at, they can “disappear” by wandering or eloping from the facility, especially if there is a lack of care or attention placed upon the whereabouts of the facility’s patient population. Tragically, many elderly patients who become confused and disoriented and wander away from a facility are seriously injured in vehicle accidents, and many die.
Care facilities which admit elderly patients with a documented history of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or are known to wonder have special duties to pay close attention to these patients. Notwithstanding, it is reported that many elderly persons wander from Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) each year.
The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, having litigated several wandering case against SNFs and RCFEs located in California, have found that even when a patient/resident is known to have wandering tendencies, the staff at these facilities can become overworked attending to the needs of other patients/residents and fail to closely monitor those in need. In such circumstances, an elderly patient/resident can easily leave a facility, unnoticed, and become subject the the many dangers that present in the environment, including traffic.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or loss due to a facility’s failure to properly monitor a person know to need special attention, please call the attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP. The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, are uniquely knowledgeable in the area Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect and other elderly care facility wrongdoing, and can help.
William M. Berman is the Founding and Managing Partner of the San Diego based civil litigation firm, Berman & Riedel, LLP. One of the youngest attorneys in the State of California to receive the highest possible AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, Mr. Berman now heads a staff of four attorneys. Mr. Berman gained his prominence by establishing the firm’s renowned nursing home and elder abuse litigation department, obtaining one of the then highest published settlements ever reported against a residential care facility for the elderly in the State of California, a 2.2 million dollar settlement in only his second year of practice. Since then, Mr. Berman has grown his firm and has continued his success by handling many notable and highly publicized nursing home cases, and has developed what is widely considered to be one of the leading plaintiffs’ elder abuse practices handling cases throughout the entire State of California. His continued success in the area of elder abuse litigation continues to garner substantial media attention and the notice of the state legislature, which has brought the issue of proper elder care to the forefront of the public’s mind and has helped to create new laws.