Vietnam Veteran Drowns in Puddle Outside Nursing Home

A Columbia nursing home patient who had survived two strokes was left outside during Hurricane Matthew, where he drowned in standing water. David Outlaw, 66, ended up pinned beneath his wheelchair after staying outside by himself to smoke a cigarette during the hurricane.

Allegedly, Outlaw refused to come back inside the facility, so he was left outside. Several minutes later, when a nurse came out to administer Outlaw’s medication, he was found face-down in water. The report did not state how deep the water was.

Waiting for Accountability

Seven years ago, Outlaw had a stroke that rendered his left side paralyzed. Until last year, his wife had cared for him. In the nursing home, Outlaw’s health reportedly had begun to improve, with better blood pressure and blood sugar readings. He was characterized as still having “a lot of life ahead of him.”

Both Outlaw’s brother and wife were stunned by the turn of events. Karyl Outlaw commented, “How negligent is it to just leave him outside in a hurricane by himself?” Outlaw’s brother Richard insisted that someone should have kept an eye on him if he actually did refuse to come inside.

Deputies for Richland County are looking into the death on October 8 at Columbia’s National Health Care facility. The state entity that licenses nursing homes, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, is also investigating.

Outlaw’s wife says she is waiting for the outcome of the state’s investigations so that she can make sure that the responsible party or parties are held accountable.

Types of Nursing Home Neglect

Neglect can be subtle and not always simple to detect. However, it can be just as serious and deadly as abuse. Some common kinds of neglect in nursing homes include:

  • Poor or negligent supervision: Residents are not carefully watched. Sometimes they end up wandering away from the facility only to suffer confusion, injury, or even death.
  • Basic needs neglect: Not providing the basics of care, such as food, clothing, shelter, and a clean, safe environment injures the body.
  • Physical neglect: Little to no assistance is provided with basic hygiene and bathroom needs, with eating and drinking, or with bathing and changing clothing.
  • Medical needs neglect: Not providing basic medical care for cuts, injuries, contusions, bedsores, infections, and pain causes needless suffering and medical complications.
  • Emotional neglect: Repeatedly leaving a patient alone or ignored, or speaking harshly to them, or providing no social interaction injures the person psychologically.

The Louthian Law Firm stands ready to assist you should you believe you see signs of nursing home neglect.

Family-owned. Family-focused.

Elderly people are entitled to basic safety, respect and dignity. If you or someone you love is a victim of South Carolina nursing home neglect, you have the right to hold the abuser responsible in court. The Louthian Law Firm has represented injured South Carolinians in nursing home patient neglect, negligence, and abuse  lawsuits and other personal injury suits since 1959. With our firm on the case, you can rest assured that you’ll get the personalized attention you deserve.

There is no substitute for proper legal help when making an elder abuse claim. For a free consultation, call our attorneys today toll free at 1-803-454-1200, or use our online contact form.