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Wrongful death case possible following bludgeoning death

Many people in New Jersey are generally familiar with some of the symptoms associated with dementia. People who suffer from the condition can sometimes be unpredictable, including becoming violent at times. However, those who provide care for such people should be familiar with both their patients and the potential for which their condition may present. Unfortunately, the death of a dementia patient in another state may potentially lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.

The victim in the case was an 86-year-old man who was living in the dementia ward of a long term care facility. Police believe that he was killed after his roommate, a 58-year-old man also reportedly suffering from dementia, struck him with a piece of furniture. Although the man was rushed to the hospital, he passed away as a result of injuries suffered in the alleged attack.

The man police say was behind the attack was arrested and charged with assault and battery. However, a judge refused to arraign him after the man was evaluated by a court clinician. Instead, the man was sent to a state hospital for a competency evaluation.

For many families in New Jersey, the decision to place their loved one in a nursing home is a difficult one to make. However, they ultimately make it, believing that doing so is in the best interest of all involved. The decision, though, is made with the understanding that these facilities will ensure that their loved one's needs are met, including ensuring their physical safety. In a case such as this in which a life is lost, surviving family members may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against caregivers and the facility if they failed to provide adequate protections. Unfortunately, it may be their only path to justice in a preventable death such as this.

Source:, "Dementia patient dies after roommate bludgeoned him with piece of furniture, police say", Alban Murtishi, Sept. 7, 2017

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