Articles Posted in Inadequate staffing

Colvin Towns was admitted to the Camden Nursing Facility in 2008. He suffered from many and various health conditions, including congestive heart failure, bowel and bladder issues, cognitive loss and diabetes.

In 2016, he was sent to a hospital emergency department, where he was diagnosed with having nursing home-acquired pneumonia, respiratory failure and septic shock. Towns, who was in his 60s, died eight days after that hospitalization. He was survived by his two adult children.

Towns’s estate sued the nursing home, alleging that it chose not to provide sufficient staff and failed to implement an adequate care plan. The lawsuit maintained that the nursing home defendant failed to respond to Towns’s needs, including keeping him safe and free from developing pneumonia.

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Shirley Liebenguth lived at Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation, a facility operated in part by the local county government. She was morbidly obese and required assistance with basic mobility and total assistance with transfers.

When a certified nursing assistant allegedly attempted to move her, she fell to the floor and suffered bilateral fractured femurs.

Liebenguth was brought to a nearby hospital where she suffered cardiac arrest and passed away. She was survived by her two brothers.

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Mr. Doe suffered from several health conditions. He had atrial fibrillation and diabetes and he had undergone amputation of his right leg.

When Doe was admitted to Roe Nursing Home, he was deemed a fall risk. However, a fall prevention plan was not put in place at the outset. He fell multiple times and suffered minor injuries. He later rolled out of bed after using a remote control that elevated his bed to the highest position.

As a result of that fall, Doe suffered a fractured left femur and underwent surgery. Unfortunately, he died the day following surgery.  The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home was liable for Doe’s injuries and subsequent death. The plaintiff asserted that his death resulted from the defendant nursing home’s numerous breaches of the standard of care related to fall protection.

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Joseph Falarski, 88, suffered from dementia and other illnesses. He was admitted to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. While living at the nursing home, he fell multiple times, including while left unassisted in a bathroom and during transfers.

As a result of these falls, Falarski suffered serious injuries, including a subdural hematoma, facial fractures and lacerations.

Falarski’s health deteriorated after his last fall, which led to his premature death from complications related to his fall fractures. He was survived by his wife and four children.

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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.

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Louise High was admitted to Brandywine Senior Living at Upper Providence.  At the time of her admission, High suffered from dementia, hypertension, a bladder tumor and gait dysfunction. Because of these conditions, she was required to receive help with medication and activities of daily living.

During the second week of High’s admission to this facility, the staff at the nursing home found her on the floor of her room, clutching her right hip.  Later that day, she fell on her right side and vomited.

She was taken to a hospital emergency room where she was diagnosed as having a fractured hip and sepsis. Her condition continued to decline. She died several months later and was survived by her two adult sons.

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Toni Gethers was an elderly woman who suffered from numerous health issues and required assistance with activities of daily living. She was admitted to Hillcrest Center Nursing Facility for a short-term stay.

Over the next five months, she developed a worsening Stage III pressure ulcer, dehydration and acute renal failure among other medical problems.

She also experienced significant weight loss and was hospitalized several times, including once for treatment of pneumonia and osteomyelitis of the sacrum. Her injuries eventually led to her passing. She was survived by her two adult sons.

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Sarah Fortner suffered from dementia, osteoporosis, and had other health problems. She lived at the Carolina Gardens at Lexington Assisted Living Facilities. Over a 5-year period, she fell several times. She suffered various injuries including a fractured arm, a skin tear, a forehead hematoma and a fractured femur. After her last fall, she passed away.

The family and the estate of Fortner sued the facility’s licensees, owners, managers and operators, alleging negligence; negligence per se; negligent hiring, training and supervision; and breach of fiduciary duty.

The Fortner estate claimed that the defendants had chosen not to prevent Fortner’s falls or determine the root cause of these falls. In addition, the lawsuit alleged that the defendant nursing home owners, operators, managers had failed to provide supervised care and properly train its staff.

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Dethel Bell, 84, was a resident at Palm Garden of West Palm Beach Nursing Home.  While a nursing aide was performing a transfer, she was dropped to the floor suffering a broken hip that required surgery to repair it. Her injuries led to “pain and suffering and inability to trust her caregivers.”

Through her attorney-in-fact, Bell sued the nursing home, alleging negligent failure to provide appropriate services, negligent hiring, retention, and supervision. It also alleged that the nursing aide’s acts led to the liability of the nursing home by way of vicarious liability.

At arbitration, an award of $197,100 was entered, including $130,000 for Bell’s mental anguish.

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After being hospitalized for a stroke, Calvin Thigpen, 68, was admitted to Waters Edge Rehabilitation & Care Center in a vegetative state. During approximately the next six months, he developed pressure sores on his sacrum, his heel and the back of his head. In addition, he suffered infections and a tear to his penis.

After his death, Thigpen’s estate sued the nursing home, its owner, and its operating company, alleging negligent care and inadequate staffing.

The nursing home and its owner defaulted. The court entered a judgment in the amount of $1.4 million in favor of the Thigpen estate. It was not reported as to whether the sum was recovered.

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