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Is the nursing home responsible for lost denture?

Mother is 101 and has been in nursing home since 98 years old. she is blind, hearing aides, wheelchair bound, with upper and lower dentures. Facility lost her original lower partial denture last year. She had just been on Medicaid and so they used it to replace partial with a new lower denture. It has taken her over a year to adjust and now the lower denture is LOST again! Administrator met with us and feels she is responsible for the loss! They refuse to pay for replacement! Where we go to resolve this and get them to pay?
Status: Open    Mar 22, 2016 - 07:21 AM

Other, Senior Living Communities

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Jun 01, 2016 - 10:54 AM

This is a frustrating situation, especially since your Mother doesn't see or hear well and so can't easlily keep track of her belongings. I'm sure your first concern is to get her a new denture so she can be comfortable and talk and eat normally as soon as possible. Since it was recently replaced, see if it can promptly be remade and fitted from the previous casting. There are providers who can go to the nursing home for more convenient service.
You should document the loss in writing to the facility, neutrally stating the facts as you know them, your reasoning about responsibility, and your request that they cover the loss. Read the contract you or your Mother has with the facility and refer to any sections that address loss of personal property. Although it won't help this time, I wonder if there is such a thing as insurance for personal property that would cover her in the nursing home - sort of like renter's insurance. Best of luck to you and your Mother.

Jun 06, 2016 - 07:16 AM

I do not know all of the facts, but it seems to me that it would be hard to prove that the facility is responsible for the loss. If you thought they were responsible and they refused to pay for it after your personal request, then you would have to hire a lawyer to file suit. I am not sure how much a denture costs, but I imagine it would not be enough to warrant the legal fees you would have to pay to get a recovery. You would not be able to find someone to take the case on a contingency because the damages would likely not be worth enough to make it worth the attorney's while.

The only other option would be to contact your local circuit or district clerk and ask about filing a lawsuit in small claims court. These courts are for matters where the damages are smaller (for example, under $10,000 in some states) and many people represent themselves (as it is not cost effective to hire an attorney).

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