Decades of success holding wrongdoers accountable.
We are attorneys with trial-tested experience representing those seriously injured or killed through no fault of their own. We take fewer cases so we can focus more on you and your path to recovery. We have a unique understanding of the law and skills needed to succeed in personal injury, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse and neglect claims. We build value by building relationships with our clients. We use years of experience trying complex cases to juries to achieve fair settlements out of court when possible and to obtain full and fair compensation in the courtroom when necessary.
We handle a variety of injury-related cases in Richmond, VA
We dedicate ourselves to helping people seriously injured and the families of those killed by negligent drivers, healthcare providers, property owners, and corporations. We only pursue meritorious cases that are supported by the facts and the law. We limit our practice to serious cases because we do our best work when we know our clients. If we accept your case, you will have direct access to your attorneys.
Unlike many lawyers representing injured people and the families of those killed, we have significant jury trial experience that insurance companies respect. We will take your case to a jury if the insurance company is not willing to settle on fair terms considering the facts and the law.
We can help you with the following types of cases:
Michael Lantz has over 30 years of experience in representing injured people and fighting for justice. His specialties include medical malpractice, automobile accident cases, nursing home negligence cases and premise liability cases.
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Despite numerous pandemic deaths, Virginia still has no rules dictating minimum nursing home staffing requirements. According to recent AARP statistics, Virginia’s nursing home COVID-19 death rate is the country’s second-highest. However, the state’s nursing home staffing issues began long before the pandemic. Some of Virginia’s nursing homes consistently receive low marks year after year, with several facilities garnering federal attention for immediate corrective action. The lack of proper Virginia nursing home staffing requirements has contributed to many of the ongoing issues multiple facilities have encountered in recent years. When there is a lack of staff, the residents are the ones who suffer. There tends to be a direct link between understaffing in a nursing home and increased neglect and abuse cases. In 2019, Richmond Times-Dispatch published an expose on the problems plaguing some of Virginia’s nursing homes. The title tells you all you need to know: “Bedsores, burns and a maggot: 5 Va. nursing homes on federal list of persistent underperformers.” Legislation to Establish Minimum Staffing Ratios Died Despite the increase in deaths due to the pandemic, there’s still no current Virginia legislation addressing minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes. 2020 marked the 16th time a proposal to set minimum staffing requirements was brushed off, even though Virginia nursing homes continue to be ranked so low. The proposal came from state Senator Jennifer Kiggans, R-Virginia Beach, who wants nursing homes to provide a minimum of one direct-care staffer per six patients. The current reality is that some caregivers are assigned three to seven times that number. Some nurses have reported they are typically assigned anywhere between 20 and 40 patients every shift. Nurses being overworked means they can’t adequately care for residents, ensure high-risk patients are appropriately monitored, etc. That is why neglect and abuse are rampant within the Virginia nursing home system. Even though the proposal was shot down in 2020, legislators ordered the Department of Health to create a workgroup that would review and share recommendations on how to increase the Virginia nursing home workforce. Updates to the Proposal in 2021 Fast forward to 2021, and it’s now the 17th time this proposal was killed. The workgroup held meetings, but when the final list came out, the top three recommendations out of 34 were focused on creating optional service-learning credits for students who were volunteering in these long-term care facilities. Further down on the list were proposals that would pay facilities a higher Medicaid reimbursement amount if they achieved specific nursing home staffing ratios. The first suggestion was to start at 12 patients to one caregiver and eventually reach the desired six-to-one ratio over the following four budget cycles. Lobbyists for nursing homes voted against both of these recommendations. The Virginia Health Care Association—Virginia Association of Assisted Living, was against instituting any type of staff-to-resident ratio. They argue that there needs to be more credentialed health care professionals in Virginia and that establishing staff-to-resident ratios isn’t going to work without having certified nurses who want to be there. How Nursing Home Staff Ratios Contributed to COVID-19 Deaths While staffing shortages existed long before the pandemic, COVID-19 exacerbated them, further contributing to the virus’s spread. According to the Virginia Department of Health, long-term care facilities are the second biggest source of outbreaks. There have been over 31,000 cases of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, resulting in nearly 4,000 deaths. The next highest source of cases is at correctional facilities, with just over 18,000 cases and only 61 deaths. Those are significantly lower numbers than in nursing homes. One of the reasons COVID-19 spread so rapidly through nursing homes is due to the shortage of staff. Many of the low-paid staff work at multiple facilities. If they contracted the virus and worked in two to three facilities in the same week, imagine all the people they exposed. Staffing shortages also led to not isolating positive COVID-19 patients from the negative ones. For nursing home residents, nursing home staffing issues literally mean the difference between life and death right now. Virginia Nursing Homes Continue to Rank Low Virginia nursing homes consistently fall to the bottom of the charts on various ranking criteria. For example, Families for Better Care has ranked Virginia as 36 overall with an overall grade of “D” for the third consecutive time. The report card shows residents receive less than two hours and 17 minutes of direct care daily. Three out of four nursing homes didn’t reach an above-average rating in the inspection. Overall, nursing home care in Virginia is second to the bottom for the Mid-Atlantic Region, barely squeezing above Pennsylvania as the worst state. What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse Deciding to move a loved one to a long-term care facility is complicated enough in normal times. Having to do it during the pandemic is even worse. It’s crucial to do your research to find the best long-term care facility for your family member. However, even if you choose the best one, there’s no guarantee that residents are fully protected against neglect and abuse. To help protect your loved ones, you must monitor your family member’s condition and watch for red flags of abuse and neglect. If you suspect something is amiss, speak with a skilled Virginia nursing home abuse attorney right away. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., we have decades of combined experience handling nursing home abuse cases. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your situation and explain the best course of legal action.
(Fleming County, KY, March 3, 2021) — A Kentucky hospital misinformed a woman of her cancer diagnosis and attempted to cover it up, according to the woman’s lawsuit. The misinformation and lack of action led to the tumor continuing to grow untreated for nearly a year. Case Background The plaintiff, Kim Johnson, had a mammogram at Flemming County Hospital after feeling a lump in her right breast. Johnson’s mother died of breast cancer, so she was hyper-aware of the tumor. Much to her relief, Johnson received a letter in the mail a few weeks after her mammogram that informed her there was “no evidence of cancer.” Johnson, 53 at the time, went back to her life with seven kids and multiple farm animals. However, the lump in her breast did not subside. Her primary care physician, having been informed of the negative cancer screening, prescribed steroids for a staph infection. After nine months, the lump had grown more prominent and more painful; at Johnson’s request, the primary care physician referred Johnson to a different hospital for another mammogram. Johnson’s Fears Confirmed Johnson traveled 80 miles to Elizabeth Fort Thomas Hospital, where Dr. Heidi Murley ordered a mammogram and an emergency biopsy upon reading the results. Murley soon informed Johnson that she had stage 4 breast cancer, and it had spread to her lymph nodes and bones. Rightly, Johnson wondered how the other hospital missed the cancer almost a year earlier. Murley wondered the same thing and reviewed the mammogram from Flemming County Hospital. She found apparent evidence of cancer in the image and determined that Johnson should have been scheduled for a biopsy within 30 days of that initial radiology appointment. Johnson confirmed that she only received one letter from Flemming County Hospital informing her that her mammogram was clear. Confused, Johnson followed the advice of a nurse in Murley’s office and sought legal counsel. Johnson Sues Johnson’s lawyers filed a lawsuit against Flemming County Hospital in September 2016. To Johnson’s shock, the hospital responded and said they sent two additional letters after her initial visit directing her to schedule a follow-up appointment. She insisted she had never seen those two letters, but Johnson and the hospital settled the lawsuit for $1.25 million in 2018. However, the plaintiff hired Andrew Garrett, a digital forensics expert, to analyze the evidence in the case. After multiple visits to the hospital and an extensive review of the documents in question, Garrett determined that the hospital created the two letters after Johnson filed the lawsuit—two years after her initial mammogram. Garrett also found evidence of two different hospital workers editing Johnson’s file various times to erase evidence of medical negligence. The plaintiffs filed a motion to undo the settlement in 2019. Although the trial judge denied the motion, Johnson and her attorneys unsuccessfully appealed the decision in November and are now appealing to the Kentucky Supreme Court. The defense argues that hospital computer systems frequently glitch, and the evidence related to computer records is unreliable. Johnson’s legal team ascertains that the codes used to change the documents belong to active employees, arguing that the defense is invalid. Case Result Although the outcome of her lawsuit remains unknown, Johnson is focusing her time on her children and her farm. She has undergone more than 50 rounds of chemotherapy and 40 rounds of radiation to treat the growing tumor; the cancer has continued to spread and is now in her neck. At the time of her diagnosis, doctors told her she would live for less than one year. Nearly five years later, Johnson is still fighting. Source: NBC News Contact a Virginia Medical Malpractice and Negligence Lawyer If you believe your case is severe enough to warrant legal action beyond a formal complaint with the Virginia Department of Health, you need to speak with one of our attorneys. Our legal team has decades of combined personal injury experience, including with medical malpractice cases. We can review your circumstances and advise you on the best course of action. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation.
Mar 22, 2021 | By Rand Robins | Read Time: 2minutes
Moving a family member to a nursing home is a scary transition. You assume your loved ones will be well taken care of and receive the care they need. However, not all nursing home employees treat residents with the respect they deserve. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused, it’s imperative you take action immediately. You may be wondering how to report a nursing home in Virginia. There are Virginia elder abuse laws with provisions to protect nursing home residents. You can file a report with the Virginia Department of Health to start. You can also speak with one of our Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys at Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to discuss the best course of action for your situation. How to Report a Nursing Home for Neglect You might assume that your only course of action is to file a lawsuit against the nursing home, but we don’t recommend that option to start. To win a lawsuit against the nursing home, you need to prove that the nursing home was negligent and that its negligence was the proximate cause of your family member’s injuries. You also have to show that your loved one suffered harm due to the nursing home’s negligence. Even though your family member may have suffered some harm, you don’t need to file a lawsuit for every incident. You may be better off trying to resolve it out of court. Not to mention a lawsuit will take considerable time to resolve, and it could be well over a year before your case settles. Not to mention, there’s always a risk that Medicaid or Medicare will want their share of the settlement. So, what do you do instead? Many clients we speak with say their primary concern is to ensure that the abuse or neglect doesn’t happen to another family. Filing a report with the appropriate agency in Virginia will trigger them to open an investigation to check out your concerns. Where to Report a Problem with a Nursing Home in Virginia? When you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect in Virginia, you need to file a complaint with the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC). The board will investigate your concerns by sending out a team of investigators to the nursing home to review the situation. They will not give the nursing home any notice either. During their visit, they will check your family member’s chart and condition and verify whether the level of care received met the legal standards of Virginia law. You can report the suspected abuse or neglect by contacting the Virginia Department of Health hotline at 1-800-955-1819. There is also an online Virginia nursing home report form you can complete and return in the mail or via fax. The OLC only responds to complaints involving suspected neglect, abuse, inadequate care, mistreatment, failure to treat, etc. They have no jurisdiction over any disputes related to billing practices or fees. Contact a Virginia Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer If you believe your case is severe enough to warrant legal action beyond a formal complaint with the Virginia Department of Health, you need to speak with one of our attorneys. Our legal team has decades of combined personal injury experience, including with nursing home abuse cases. We can review your circumstances and advise you on the best course of action. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation.