Police Investigate Whether this Nursing Home Choking Death was Preventable
Tragically, on September 25, 2015, Walter Jarnot died as a result of choking on food while a resident at Glacier Hills nursing home in Michigan. Ann Arbor police have recently decided to reopen the wrongful death choking investigation into Mr. Jarnot’s death at the nursing home.
Ann Arbor police are now considering bringing criminal charges against the Glacier Hills nursing home staff for allowing Mr. Jarnot to choke to death on food. The nursing home allegedly told the Jarnot family that Dad died of ‘natural causes’ and did not reveal the choking incident inside the facility. However, the official State of Michigan death certificate states that Mr. Jarnot’s cause of death was ‘asphyxiation’.
The Washtenaw County prosecutor’s office has said that they are considering charging staff with involuntary manslaughter.
Mr. Jarnot was an infantryman in World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, achieving the rank of Sergeant. He and his wife volunteered as prison ministers.
Choking Deaths in Nursing Homes
When a nursing home resident chokes, the results can be deadly. Oftentimes, a resident like Mr. Jarnot has a special diet due to swallowing problems. These can include NPO diets, soft food diets, pureed diets, mechanical soft diets, etc. When dietary restrictions are not followed, the result can be deadly. The elderly patient can choke and asphyxiate, or can introduce liquid or solids into their lungs and develop aspiration pneumonia.
Nursing home choking wrongful deaths are usually preventable. Even if the resident did not have a history of prior swallowing issues, there should be adequate supervision in the dining hall. If a resident is choking in distress, the nursing home staff should be there to intervene and perform the Heimlich or CPR.
Almost all nursing home residents have some degree of choking risk, so it is the duty of the staff to ensure no patient is choking while eating.
Getting the Police Involved in a Nursing Home Death Investigation
Sometimes, we as a society minimize the loss of a person’s life if they are elderly or sick. However, a homicide is a homicide, regardless of the victim’s age.
If you think your family member passed away due to neglect or abuse, you should involve the police. In a prior post, we explained how to get the police to investigate a nursing home death.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help Bring a Civil Claim
If your loved one unfortunately suffered a choking related death inside a nursing home or assisted living facility, call our compassionate and experienced nursing home negligence attorneys.
The call is free and we only charge a fee if we recover a settlement or verdict for you.
Call us now, toll-free at 1-844-253-8919« Previous PostNext Post »