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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

When Does Understaffing Mean Nursing Home Negligence?

Nursing homes in New York are required to provide adequate care to residents in the facility, recognizing that different residents will need different levels of care. Some nursing home residents can still perform some activities of daily living (ADLs), while other residents need assistance with all ADLs. Facilities must acknowledge that residents have varying care requirements, and they must provide enough care based on a resident’s needs. If a resident suffers an injury due to insufficient attention from nursing home staff, it may be possible to file a nursing home negligence claim against the facility. In addition, New York law requires nursing homes in the state to meet minimum staffing requirements. Failure to meet those minimum requirements could also lead to a nursing home negligence claim.

Our New York nursing home negligence attorneys can provide you with more information about when understaffing could give rise to a nursing home negligence lawsuit.

Violations of New York Nursing Home Staffing Requirements

New York law is one of several U.S. states that has specific nursing home staffing requirements. Not all states have these requirements, and when states do have required staffing ratios, they are determined by state law. Accordingly, it is important to understand what the laws are in New York and to know when it may be possible to file a claim against a nursing home or skilled nursing facility. Under New York law, nursing homes must meet specific requirements in order to show that they have “sufficient staff.” Those requirements include but are not limited to:

● Sufficient numbers of each of the following types of staff members on a 24-hour basis based on resident care plans: registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, certified nurse aides, and other nursing personnel;

● Daily average staffing hours equal to 3.5 hours of care for each resident every day by a certified nurse aide, registered professional nurse, licensed practical nurse, or nurse aid;

● At least 2.2 hours per patient per day must be provided by a certified nurse aide or nurse aide;

● At least 1.1 hours per patient per day must be provided by a registered professional nurse or licensed practical;

● Services of a registered professional nurse for eight consecutive hours or more per day, seven days per week

Staffing Numbers Fail to Account for Needs of Residents

Even when a nursing home meets the above staffing requirements in terms of the numbers, if it does not provide sufficient care for a resident based on that resident’s medical needs, it can be negligent.

Resident Suffers an Injury

In order to file a nursing home negligence claim, it will be important to show that an injury occurred. To be clear, one of the critical elements of a negligence lawsuit is that an injury occurred, and it must have been caused by the defendant’s negligence. Accordingly, in a nursing home negligence claim, you will need to be able to show that your elderly parent or other loved one at a nursing home suffered an injury and that the injury was caused by the nursing home’s negligence.

Contact a New York Nursing Home Negligence Attorney

If you have questions about filing a nursing home negligence claim, you should get in touch with one of our New York nursing home negligence lawyers today. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.


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