$755,000 Jury Verdict in Elder Abuse Lawsuit

Guillermina Ruvalcaba suffered from various health conditions, including dementia and neuropathy. She had also undergone bilateral leg amputations.

After being hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis, she was admitted to Hacienda Heights Healthcare & Wellness Centre, an unlicensed skilled nursing facility.

Ruvalcaba’s admission assessment indicated that she was a fall risk due to her leg amputations. Approximately one month later, she wheeled herself without assistance to the facility’s day room. While still unsupervised, she fell out of her wheelchair and suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. An investigation into the incident led to a nursing director’s determination that her fall was unavoidable.

Ruvalcaba remained at Hacienda Heights for several more months because of her injuries. Her mental status has not returned to what it was before this fall.

She filed a lawsuit against Hacienda Heights Healthcare & Wellness Centre LP and Rockport Administrative Services LLC, which contracted with Hacienda Heights to provide professional services; she alleged that both were guilty of elder abuse.

A jury signed a verdict in favor of Ruvalcaba for over $755,000, including $600,000 in punitive damages and more than $80,100 in economic damages.

The jury apportioned the liability at 70% to Rockport Administrative Services and 30% to Hacienda Heights.

The attorneys successfully handing this case for Ruvalcaba were Stephen M. Garcia and William M. Artigliere.

Ruvalcaba v. Rechnitz, No. 20STCV27182 (Cal. Super. Ct. Los Angeles County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home negligence lawsuits, nursing home fall cases, elder abuse lawsuits, long-term negligence cases and wrongful death lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Schiller Park, Hoffman Estates, Streamwood, Wilmette, Northfield, Wheeling, Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Highland Park, Morton Grove, Oakbrook Terrace, Westchester, Clarendon Hills, North Aurora, Batavia, Romeoville, Orland Park, Alsip, South Holland, Chicago (South Deering, South Chicago, Chicago Lawn, South Shore, Jackson Park, Hyde Park, Wrigleyville, Chinatown, Little Village, McKinley Park, Archer Heights, Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Burnham, South Loop, Near West Side, West Town, Lakeview, Portage Park, Ukrainian Village), Lincolnwood, Elk Grove Village, University Park, LaGrange, Chicago Heights, Markham, Joliet, Tinley Park and Geneva, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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