Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence

Elder abuse and neglect is a too-common occurrence in the United States.  While many facilities treat their residents with the care, dignity, and respect that families expect and residents deserve, others do not.  Some estimate that  as many as five million elders are abused each year.  Unfortunately, elder abuse is underreported.  Estimates vary, but one study estimates that only 1 in 14 cases are reported to authorities.

Abuse and neglect is a problem in our country’s nursing homes.  Over 29% of the complaints made by nursing home resident to state public health agencies relate to physical abuse.  Complaints of neglect are even more common.

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment.  Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to provide necessary care, like food, hydration, hygiene, and medical services.

What are warning signs of elder abuse?

Physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment:  Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, burns.

Neglect:  Bedsores, rashes, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss, dehydration.

Financial exploitation:  Sudden change in financial situation.

Sexual abuse:  urinary tract infection, unusual bruising, withdrawal or other sudden behavioral change.

People with dementia or Alzheimer’s may have difficulty communicating what has happened to them.  Other residents may fear retaliation from staff if they report abuse or neglect.  In addition to the warning signs listed above, if you notice that a nursing home resident has become more upset or agitated, or has a change of behavior around staff, or withdraws from touch, the resident may be a victim of abuse or neglect.

What do you do if you suspect someone over the age of 65 one has been a victim of abuse or neglect?

Report any suspected abuse or neglect to the local branch office of the State of Oregon’s Senior and People with Disabilities Department. Your report will be confidential.  More information is in the Resources section below.

It is not your responsibility to prove that elder abuse or neglect is occurring.  You are simply reporting your suspicions of possible abuse or neglect.  You may wish to keep notes of who you spoke with, what you reported, and what was said in each conversation.

An investigator should be assigned to the case and should interview all relevant witnesses and review relevant documents. The informed opinion of an investigator is helpful to determine whether any wrongdoing occurred.

Notify the resident’s primary care physician.  If immediate care is needed, the resident should be taken to the closest hospital emergency room.

Consider contacting an attorney experienced handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

Should I bring a nursing home abuse or neglect claim for myself or for my family member?

At Corson & Johnson, we are dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities and to making sure that nursing homes are held accountable when a resident is harmed unnecessarily.  Successfully prosecuting nursing home abuse and neglect cases requires a combination of understanding of how nursing homes are organized and administered, how the facilities keep records, a detailed familiarity with the applicable administrative rules, good working relationships with experts in the field, and experience in these unique cases.

We have prosecuted cases involving intentional physical abuse, failure to protect from sexual assault, medical theft, withholding life-saving medications, failure to plan for necessary fall prevention, failure to provide or arrange for medical care, failure to provide adequate food and drink, failure to protect residents from contagious diseases, and other forms of abuse and neglect.  Examples of some of our cases are shown below.

If you are interested in talking with a lawyer about a possible claim, we would be happy to talk with you.   Please contact us by phone, text, or website inquiry, and we will get back to you promptly.  You do not pay for the initial legal consultation, and if we prosecute the case, there is no attorney fee unless the case is successful.


Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Cases

Nursing Home Resident Dies From Improper Care

Patient’s family wins arbitration hearing.

Multiple Nursing Home Residents Abused

Numerous nursing home residents were subjected to neglectful and abusive care.

Improper Care Leads Death of Young Alzheimer’s Resident

Family loses otherwise healthy man: Confidential settlement.

The attorneys at Corson & Johnson have helped countless individuals and families over the past three-plus decades.
Please click on the Read More Cases link highlighted below to see additional Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect case examples.
If you think you may have a case, please call, email, or text us; we would be happy to talk with you.

Client Testimonials

C Arnold

We associated with Lara on a complicated nursing home death case. She’s the “go to” lawyer for assisted care facility malpractice.


“Lara represented my husband’s estate in a wrongful death case. I had spoken to a couple other lawyers that declined the case “for lack of a smoking gun”. She listened to my husband’s story with interest and compassion and felt there was a valid case. I found Lara to be very through and detailed in her investigation of the facts without being clinical or harsh. She was excellent at keeping me updated as things progressed and clear in her explanations and instructions. The wheels of justice seem to grind slowly, but Lara was supportive every step of the way and brought the case to a successful conclusion. I hope I never need this type of representation again, but if I do I would definitely choose Lara. I highly recommend her to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer.”

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Resources


Nursing Homes — Abuse Reporting

Nursing Homes — Abuse Reporting

Unfortunately, neglect and abuse of nursing home residents is all too common. Here in Oregon, the first step is to report suspected abuse or neglect to state authorities. Oregon law protects the confidentiality of all people reporting abuse and anyone who reports suspected abuse in good faith.

Oregon Law Clarifies Elder Abuse Reporting

Oregon Law Clarifies Elder Abuse Reporting

The Elder Abuse Bill (House Bill 4151 in 2014, which amended several parts of the Oregon Revised Statutes) was passed by the Oregon Legislature based on the efforts of the Elder Abuse Work Group, which included our firm’s Lara Johnson.

Elder Abuse Reporting

Elder Abuse Reporting

This segment of The Law and You features personal injury trial lawyer Lara Johnson encouraging reporting of abuse of elderly clients in care facilities or private homes.

No Excuse for Elder Abuse

No Excuse for Elder Abuse

This segment of The Law and You features Eugene, Oregon personal injury trial lawyer Lara Johnson discussing a movement in Oregon that helps protect elderly citizens from abuse or neglect.

Nursing Home Residents Sign Away Their Rights

Nursing Home Residents Sign Away Their Rights

When someone enters a nursing home, there is a mountain of paperwork to fill out. Sometimes the paperwork is completed by the resident, sometimes by a family member. People should have time to review the documents, ask questions, and have the documents reviewed by a trusted friend or an attorney before signing them.

Nursing Homes are Overmedicating Residents to Keep Them Docile

Nursing Homes are Overmedicating Residents to Keep Them Docile

“Our elderly parents, grandparents, and other loved ones should be treated with the utmost respect, yet too many nursing homes are cited with abuses that we don’t know about. This report from Human Rights Watch on over medicating is horrendous,” said Attorney Lara Johnson, who prosecutes elder abuse cases and served on the Oregon Governor’s Elder Abuse Prevention Workgroup.

New Laws That Protect Elders

New Laws That Protect Elders

House Bill 2205 expanded the list of mandatory reporters of elder abuse. Under the new law, public or private official mandatory reporters include attorneys, dentists, optometrists, and chiropractors.

National Center on Elder Abuse

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment. Learn more at

How can we help you?

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If you would like to speak with a member of our legal team, please call us at 541-484-2525 or contact us using the form. There is no charge for this initial consultation. We offer Free Virtual Consultations using Zoom. Please fill out the contact form to request an initial consultation.

Please keep in mind that we can only help a limited number of people at one time, and that we try to focus on serious cases where we think we might be able to make a meaningful difference in a person’s life. We will promptly follow-up and be in contact with you.

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