Named after the 18th century American explorer, Zebulon Pike, Pikesville has become a prosperous and vibrant community with more than 200 years of history to its name. Just a stone’s throw from downtown Baltimore, the suburb of Pikesville sits in the northwestern quadrant of the greater Baltimore area and is home to more than 30,000 residents and one of Maryland’s largest Jewish populations. Of note, Pikesville reportedly has the largest concentration of Russian-Americans in the entire U.S. With close to 20 percent of the entire area claiming Russian heritage, the overwhelming majority are ethnic Ashkenazi Jews many of whom can trace their ancestry back to the Russian Empire.
According to immigration records, the 19th and early 20th centuries saw an influx of Jewish immigrants to the east Baltimore area. Early on, these émigrés formed their own tight-knit communities — Broadway East, Middle East and Oliver, among others — and later during World War II their numbers expanded beyond Baltimore City into Pikesville, and subsequently Owings Mills and Reisterstown. More than 100,000 people strong, and stretching throughout the greater metropolitan area, Baltimore’s Jewish community has made Pikesville its core.
The town itself boasts a lively business community comprised of professional service businesses, as well as retail stores specialized in unique fashion goods, gifts, china and jewelry, all situated on MD 140, Pikesville’s main thoroughfare. Other entertainment and diversions in this area include restaurants and dining venues, exercise facilities, plus golf and tennis clubs. With easy access via the area’s convenient expressways, Pikesville residents can enjoy day and weekend trips to the nearby metro areas of Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Occupying more than 12 square miles of land area, Pikesville is bisected by the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) and bounded on its western edge by Interstate 795, which also connects the communities of Reisterstown and Owings Mills to Baltimore City. Many of the residences surrounding Pikesville’s commercial center are large single-family homes, and include quite a few well-kept houses in a number of established neighborhoods. Other residential structures include luxury condos and townhouses, as well as a retirement community made up of several esthetically attractive assisted living facilities.
With more than 30,000 people living in the Pikesville area, it is interesting to note that more than half of the residents are 45 years or older and nearly a quarter of the residents are individuals aged 65 years or more. While almost half of the people in Pikesville are younger than 45, the preponderance of middle-aged and senior citizens reflects the oft-discussed aging of our American society.
With so many in the area who may be moving to assisted living or nursing home facilities, concerns over safety and proper treatment of elderly family members is likely on the minds of many Pikesville residents and Marylanders in general. Concern exists not only for those with older relatives, but also the many middle-aged people who will likely find themselves living longer as medical technology helps our aging population to grow older and healthier over time.
Sending a parent or other family member to a nursing home means trusting the management and staff of that facility with the health and well-being of that particular loved one. When something happens to endanger the life of a relative in an assisted living facility or nursing home, it may be time to file a legal claim against those responsible for the poor treatment of that individual. It’s a sad fact that some nursing home residents do suffer from abuse, or at the very least, neglect during their stay.
At the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we have the skills and experience to represent the families of individuals in the Maryland area if and when a parent or other relative experiences the trauma of nursing home abuse. In many instances, legal claims against nursing homes can include the following categories:
- Medical malpractice
Per federal law (42 CFR § 488.301), the definition of nursing home abuse can be identified as “the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish.” As hard as it may be to believe, more than a few elderly seniors suffer various levels of abuse ranging from mental or psychological mistreatment to sexual abuse by nursing home staff.
While neglect differs from abuse, the affects can be similar and just as injurious. Abuse, by its very definition, implies direct action that is intended to harm an individual. On the other hand, neglect is represented by inaction or indifference to a nursing home patient’s condition or needs. Either way, the law is specific; and those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
Neglect comes in many forms, but one of the most common problems come in the form of so-called bedsores, which result from patients not being “turned” on a periodic basis by nursing staff. Because many nursing home residents are not able to easily roll over on their own, if the staff does not assist the person, he or she may end up developing these pressure sores (also known as decubitus ulcers).
Medically, bedsores are actually lesions resulting from continuous and unrelieved pressure exerted on the body’s soft outer layers of tissue by an underlying bony prominence, such as a person’s hip bone. By partially or completely obstructing blood flow to the affected area, the tissue itself can actually die or become necrotic over time. The resulting bedsores can be categorized in four distinct stages, depending, of course, on the severity of the problem. Most severe is Stage IV, in which the sore extends deep into muscle tissue, tendons or even the bone itself.
Here in Maryland, nursing homes are monitored by the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and governed by the Code of Maryland Regulations, which provides a strict set of regulations that every licensed nursing facility must follow. One of the numerous requirements set forth by the state of Maryland is that each nursing home must have in place its own set of policies and procedures designed to prevent neglect and abuse of that facilities patients. A failure to have these policies in place can be grounds for a lawsuit against a nursing home.
In many cases, if one’s own relative is suffering at a particular nursing home, many other patients may also be experiencing similar abuse as well. Time can be of the essence in such cases, as elderly individuals are more likely to suffer serious injury or death without immediate attention once a problem has been discovered.
Anyone who suspects that a loved one is suffering unnecessarily in a nursing home, because of abuse or neglect, should contact a qualified legal professional to better understand their rights and the rights of the relative suffering from nursing home abuse. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are ready to provide a free, no obligation consultation following a toll-free phone call to 1-800-654-1949.
As experienced trial lawyers, our primary goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for every one of our clients. In addition to nursing home cases, our personal injury attorneys also represent individuals who have been hurt, maimed or killed as a result of automobile and motorcycle accidents, doctor or hospital malpractice, birth injuries, pharmacy errors, and injuries to young children and minors.
Getting to our principal offices is simple. The law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen is located in Owings Mills, Maryland, just 16 miles from Baltimore. We are at 10 Crossroads Drive, Suite 105, Owings Mills, MD, 21117, and can be reached using the Jones Falls Expressway via Interstate 695 West. After merging onto I-695 West/ Baltimore Beltway Outer Loop toward Pikesville, drive about 4.4 miles and get off at the MD-140 North exit (Exit 20), heading toward Garrison. Turn right onto Reisterstown Road/MD-140 West and go 1.3 miles to Crossroads Drive. Turn left there and take the first right onto Park Center Court. Make a left at the first available street and drive into the parking lot that serves our offices. We are conveniently located on the first floor, Suite 105.