In April 2011 a 40-year-old Pennsylvania man was involuntarily committed to nursing facility owned by Beaver County. Though the reason he was placed there is unclear, it is known that he needed a CPAP breathing mask to help him breathe at night. The first night the man was at the facility he suffered difficulties breathing after receiving certain medications and later died.

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Following the man’s death, his brother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county regarding the matter. In it he alleged that the nursing facility failed to send his brother to the hospital where he could obtain proper care after he began to experience problems breathing. That lawsuit recently settled for an undisclosed amount. As a part of that settlement, the individuals and entities accused of negligence denied liability.

While cases like this one sometimes go to trial, in other instances, such as this one, an agreement is reached prior to that event. These agreements are often beneficial for all parties involved as they bring to a close what can be a long, difficult process. In addition to saving time, settlements guarantee compensation to the individuals who brought the lawsuit.

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While death is a part of life no one expects to lose a loved one at the young age of 40. Such an event is even more difficult to face when it is the result of negligent actions of others. Though certainly not a replacement for the person lost, a financial settlement could make life easier for those left behind.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Beaver Co. settles lawsuit over death at nursing facility,” Brian Bowling, April 29, 2014

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