Q: I want to sue a Nursing Home My mother was in but my aunt (administrator of estate) does not want to bring a suit
My mother was a resident of North Carolina. I raised a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Health and Social Services to charge that she was neglected in the nursing home she was in. The nursing home was investigated and the NC Department of Health and Social Services substantiated some of my claims. I want to sue the facility for neglect but my aunt (administrator of estate) does not want to bring a suit. She's 80 and says she's tired and that I should be able to bring the suit. Can I bring a law suit against the nursing home when my mothers estate is open? What must I do to bring a lawsuit without my aunt (administrator of estate)
A: I'm sorry to hear about this. I handle nursing home abuse cases but not probate cases. Questions I would have are whether your aunt can delegate this task to someone, whether as administrator of the estate she has a duty under North Carolina law to pursue the claim and/or whether you could (assuming you would want to) replace her as administrator. You should talk to a probate lawyer about that.
Keep in mind that, in these types of cases, the lawyers do most of the work. So it would not necessarily be much work for your aunt to do this (she have to sign a fee agreement, sign authorizations, approve any settlements) but pretty much most of the work to investigate and process the claim would be done by the lawyers (research, investigation, analysis, the lawsuit itself, etc.). You could probably help her with the few things she has to do.
Also, if the nursing home's abuse led to your mother's death, you might have your own (separate) claim -- depending, again, on North Carolina law on this topic.
What was the nature and extent of the abuse? How bad was it? What was substantiated by the Department of Health and Social Services? Did the abuse lead to your mom's death?
I am not licensed to practice in NC but know nursing home lawyers across the country and may be able to put you in touch with someone who you (and/or your aunt) can talk to.
Please Take Notice: I am not your lawyer unless we enter into an engagement agreement in writing. This is only general information. It is NOT legal advice, and it may not work for your specific situation. It is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the relevant facts and documents. I strongly encourage you to consult with a local lawyer to get legal advice and help with your specific situation at your earliest convenience. I am licensed to practice law in Arizona.
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