Victims Of NC Nursing Home Negligence Speak Out Against Senate Bill

Posted on Feb 22, 2011
With Republican majorities in the North Carolina Senate and House, lawmakers are looking to instate medical malpractice caps on non-economic damages. The new law, Senate Bill 33, would limit the victims of medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, and nursing home neglect to $250,000 in non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement, and permanent physical disability.

While republicans believe that the new medical malpractice cap would cut costs for hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals, others argue that the GOP is trying to help insurance companies and big business instead of the victims of medical mistakes, carelessness, abuse, and negligence.

Greensboro, North Carolina, resident Martha Walden has spoken out against the bill and shared her terrible story. On Christmas Eve, 20009, Walden’s mother, who was a resident of an NC nursing home, wandered from her bed and outside of the facility. Once there, the doors closed behind her and she was locked outside in freezing temperatures. The staff, who was supposed to regularly check on residents, did not find her until hours later. The woman died of hypothermia a few hours later because of the negligence of the nursing home. In a letter to lawmakers, Walden explains that a cap should not be placed on the terror, pain, and suffering her mother endured that night – and that only a jury should decide how much the nursing home should pay. 

Another North Carolina resident, Jo Ann Pfirman, also wrote to her local politicians about the possibility of medical malpractice caps. Pfirman lost her husband to strangulation in a nursing home – a horrific event that could have been prevented if not for the negligence of the adult care facility where the accident took place.

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