The Charleston Gazette is reporting that an elderly Charleston man, George King, was killed this weekend when he was hit by a CSX train in the Kanawha City section of Charleston, West Virginia.
(click here for link to story). While the untimely death of any individual is a tragedy, this situation is especially heartbreaking.
Mr. King was a resident of Heartland of Charleston, a nursing home located in Kanawha City, Charleston, West Virginia. Mr. King's family entrusted their loved-one to Heartland expecting that his well-being would be protected. It certainly appears that Heartland did not live up to its obligations.
From what the paper has reported, it appears that Mr. King "went missing" from Heartland some time on Saturday. In the nursing home industry this is called an "elopement." It is not uncommon for the elderly to become confused while in a nursing home and wander off. It is the nursing home's absolute duty to safeguard their residents and make sure that the premises are secure and that confused residents cannot slip outside and into potential danger. In this instance, it is clear that Mr. King walked out of Heartland and onto the railroad tracks which are less than 50 yards from the home.
The article indicates that Heartland "intends to do an internal investigation" of the matter. That is like the fox guarding the hen house. Mr. King's family must demand a full scale investigation of the incident - starting with a call to the West Virginia DHHR's Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification (OHFLAC) and then to a qualified lawyer.
Mani Ellis & Layne is a law firm located in Charleston, West Virginia. The lawyers of Mani Ellis & Layne have handled countless cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect throughout West Virginia. For a free consultation concerning nursing home abuse and neglect call