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Former Model Eaten Alive By Scabies in Nursing Home

A former model living in a Georgia nursing home died from a massive scabies infestation that ate her alive over the course of months or years. Rebecca Zeni, 93, died in 2015 from a scabies outbreak at the facility. Her official cause of death was septicemia due to crusted scabies, and despite being notified several times about the scabies infestation at the nursing home facility did not inspect it. The forensic pathologist who reviewed the case stated that Zeni was infested with millions of scabies parasites at the time of her death.

Zeni’s daughter moved her to the nursing home facility in 2010 after she was diagnosed with dementia. Scabies is a painful condition where parasite mites burrow into the skin to lay their eggs and survive on the body. The infestation was so bad for Zeni that one of her hands was blackened with the infestation and staff was warned not to touch it, for fear that her hand would fall off. The former chief medical officer of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation claimed it was one of the most horrendous things he had ever seen in his career as a forensic pathologist. He reported that Zeni most likely died a long and painful death over the course of months or years.

Despite the multiple reports of scabies, the Georgia state health department did not inspect the facility and instead just emailed the facility a guide on how to treat scabies. Eleven days later, Zeni died. The nursing home’s logs reported multiple cases of scabies throughout 2013, 2014, and 2015 prior to Zeni’s death. The nursing home has denied all culpability in her death.

Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse takes many forms, including through the lack of care, hygiene, and attention to patients. Claims of nursing home abuse are taken very seriously, and residents harmed by their caretakers are entitled to compensation for the injuries caused. Damages for nursing home abuse includes compensation for current and future medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, and disfigurement. For the most serious cases, where a nursing home resident dies as a result of the abuse, the family of the victim can also sue the facility for wrongful death. This includes compensation for burial and funeral costs, any final medical bills, and for the loss of companionship, love, and security of their loved one. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you as to whether you have a viable claim against the nursing home facility for abuse of your loved one. 

Contact Our Office Today

Do you suspect that the nursing home where your loved one is residing has abused them? If so, you may have a claim against them for nursing home abuse. Call the office or contact Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law today to schedule a free review of your case to determine whether your family member has been abused.

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What is Nursing Home Abuse?

With the Baby Boomer generation entering their final stages of life, the number of nursing home residents is higher than it has ever been before in the United States. While we expect that our elderly loved ones will be treated with care and respect while living in a nursing home facility, that is unfortunately not always the case. It is estimated that nearly ten percent of all nursing home residents are abused and neglected by their caretakers, meaning that nearly 150,000 people are subjected to torment and abuse, and even more are suspected of going unreported. Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law understands importance of knowing the signs of potential nursing home abuse and when to report your suspicions of the abuse of your loved one.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse takes place in nursing homes across the country, including here in Georgia, and it can take many forms. Nursing home abuse is typically split into physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, and the signs of each type of abuse can be different. Physical abuse is the intentional use of force against an elderly resident that causes injury, including battery, assault, and unlawful restraint. Signs of physical abuse include burns, abrasions around wrists or ankles, pain, traumatic hair or tooth loss, sprains, fractures, or dislocated joints, a history of repeated hospitalizations, and incongruent explanations for how the injury occurred.

Emotional abuse is the use of words to verbally degrade, berate, or manipulate nursing home residents. It can take many forms, such as verbal comments, humiliation, habitual blaming, intimidation, isolation, terrorizing, and ignoring the resident. Signs of emotional abuse include low self-esteem, lack of eye contact, refusal to speak openly, seeming hopeless or disturbed, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, and sudden mood swings.

Sexual abuse occurs when a nursing home resident is forced into unwanted sexual activity. This can happen while the resident is sleeping, sick, too weak to give consent, or lacks the mental capacity to do so. Nursing home sexual abuse is significantly underreported, especially if the victim lacks physical signs of trauma. Signs of sexual abuse in the nursing home include the discovery of STDs, difficulty sitting or walking, pelvic injury, bruising on the inner thighs or genital area, anal or genital pain, bleeding, or irritation, extreme agitation, withdrawal from social activity, panic attacks, and suicide attempts.

Financial abuse in nursing homes occurs less often than the other types of nursing home abuse and is defined as improperly or illegally using a nursing home resident’s funds, assets, or property. Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse from nursing home staff and administrators. Signs of financial abuse include unexplained transfers of money or assets, abrupt changes to a will or estate plan, the resident’s living conditions are below their resources, frequent checks being written to a particular caregiver, sudden changes in banking or funds, missing personal possessions, and additional names on your loved one’s bank signature card. If you suspect that any type of nursing home abuse is happening with your loved one, you should call an attorney immediately.

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Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, holds nursing home facilities accountable for claims of abuse in the Atlanta area. Call or contact the office today to schedule a free consultation of your case.

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Lack of staffing makes residents vulnerable to nursing home abuse

The decision to seek qualified residential care for an aging loved one is seldom an easy one for families. In spite of the time and effort that goes into selecting a facility that appears to meet the needs of the resident, it is not always possible to protect a loved one from nursing home abuse or neglect. One of the most pressing concerns for these facilities here in Georgia and elsewhere is the lack of trained staff.

Continue reading Lack of staffing makes residents vulnerable to nursing home abuse

Tags: Georgia Personal Injury

Residents urged to report any incidents of nursing home abuse

Across the nation, the month of October is set aside to increase awareness of the issues that residents of long-term care facilities often face. In spite of the significant effort that is often made to choose an appropriate facility, there remains the possibility that a resident may become a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. Georgia families whose loved ones have suffered harm from abusive or negligent providers do have recourse to pursue justice.

Continue reading Residents urged to report any incidents of nursing home abuse

Tags: Georgia Medical Malpractice

3 pedestrians injured by teen driving stolen vehicle

Without warning, even the most mundane task can become a life-altering event. Though the majority of Georgia residents do not dwell on the idea that a serious car accident can happen at any time, the reality is that life is unpredictable and can change without warning. Recently, three innocent bystanders were engaged in an extracurricular activity when their lives were turned upside down through no fault of their own.

Continue reading 3 pedestrians injured by teen driving stolen vehicle

Tags: Georgia Personal Injury

Your office may not be as safe as you think

When you think of dangerous jobs that have a high rate of workplace accidents, you probably think of construction workers, law enforcement officers and firefighters. You may think that your Atlanta office on the 10th floor is one of the safest places you can work. Unfortunately, even a business office has hidden dangers that can lead to workplace injuries.

Continue reading Your office may not be as safe as you think

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Late night ride turns into tragic motorcycle crash with 4 killed

Bikers claim that riding their motorcycles is one of the greatest passions of their lives. Unfortunately, even the most experienced and skilled operator can become a victim of a horrific motorcycle crash. One Florida driver is now facing multiple charges after striking several motorcyclists with his vehicle.

Continue reading Late night ride turns into tragic motorcycle crash with 4 killed

Tags: Florida Personal Injury

Inmate agrees to settlement in medical malpractice case

Regardless of the circumstances, every patient is entitled to comprehensive and professional medical care. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen, especially in institutional settings such as correctional or nursing home facilities. Whenever a Georgia patient suffers harm as a result of medical malpractice, he or she may suffer additional consequences in the form of monetary losses.

An inmate recently agreed to settle a medical malpractice that was filed against his state’s Department of Corrections. According to his claim, the physicians charged with his care misdiagnosed his subcutaneous lymphoma as a skin infection. He reportedly suffered with his condition for approximately three years before receiving an accurate diagnosis and treatment. He was subsequently paroled due to his medical condition.

Continue reading Inmate agrees to settlement in medical malpractice case

Tags: Georgia Medical Malpractice

Man who suffered brain injury at construction site has died

For a die-hard football fan, helping to build a stadium for one’s favorite team may seem like a dream come true. Unfortunately, not every dream has a happy ending, and for some, a construction site accident can not only tarnish a dream — it can change life irrevocably. Recently, family members of one Georgia man who was injured while working on the new Atlanta Falcons stadium announced that he had died due to complications from his injury.

Continue reading Man who suffered brain injury at construction site has died

Tags: Georgia Workers' Compensation

There is a 26 percent chance long-term disability will be needed

Many workers obtain life insurance once they become parents. However, according to one report, there is a greater likelihood that one will suffer a serious injury or illness rather than die before retirement. It is in these situations that long-term disability becomes a safety net for primary wage-earners. Georgia residents who have experienced these uncertain events can attest to the value of these types of policies.

Continue reading There is a 26 percent chance long-term disability will be needed

Tags: Long-Term Disability

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