Patient Hit By Tractor Trailor, SUV, Van, & Pickup Dies; Nursing Home Settles

A 62-year-old patient was transferred from a hospital to a nursing home with diagnoses of altered mental status, dementia, inability to make his own medical decisions and propensity to wander. The nursing home knew the patient needed 24-hour supervision and could not leave the facility without supervision and assistance.

Unbeknownst to the patient’s family, the nursing home allowed him to wander from the facility three times in one day. The nursing home located the patient without contacting the police or filing a missing person’s report after the patient’s first departure. After the second time the patient wandered from the facility, police were contacted, a “missing person’s” report was filed and police were able to locate and return the patient. The nursing home did not contact the police or the patient’s family after the third time the patient wandered from the facility. Two days later, the patient wandered onto an interstate highway, was hit by a tractor-trailer, an SUV, a van, a pickup truck, and died at the scene.

The patient’s family hired us to pursue claims against the nursing home for permitting the patient to wander and elope from the facility. We were able to obtain a very generous settlement for the patient’s family, which the nursing home only paid on the condition that the settlement amount remain confidential.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.