Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

Patrick DeLaurie Jr. suffered from numerous health issues that included diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and kidney disease.  About eight months into his admission at Sentera Nursing Center-Chesapeake, DeLaurie was sent temporarily to a hospital intensive care unit.  He was later discharged to return to the nursing home, and this allegedly was communicated to the nursing home’s administrator.

Nevertheless, when DeLaurie returned to the nursing home, he was denied readmission.  The nursing home staff allegedly refused to allow DeLaurie to retrieve his possessions, medications or wheelchair, and threatened to arrest him for trespassing, claiming that he had left the hospital against medical advice.

DeLaurie died that week. He was survived by his two children, a former wife and a brother.

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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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Ms. Doe, 87, lived in the dementia unit of the nursing home. Roe, a person with no ties to the nursing home, frequently visited the facility and socialized with its residents.

One day, a nursing assistant came to Ms. Doe’s room and found Roe in bed with her. Ms. Doe was disrobed at the time.  Ms. Doe was taken to a local hospital where an examination revealed she had been sexually assaulted. Ms. Doe now suffers from PTSD, fear of men, sexualized behavior and hallucinations.

Ms. Doe sued the nursing home, its corporate owner, the facility’s administrator, and others, alleging negligence. Continue reading

Thelma Brown, 90, was suffering from dementia and required the use of a wheelchair. While a resident at Brookdale Charlestown Nursing Home, she suffered multiple falls and developed a urinary tract infection that led to sepsis and ultimately caused her death. She was survived by her adult daughter.

Brown’s daughter, on her behalf, sued the nursing home’s owner alleging that it chose not to properly monitor her mother’s well-being, provide sufficient staff in training, and modify her care plan when her health deteriorated.

The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that Brown’s injuries came from her poor medical condition and that her injuries were not a cause of her death.

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The plaintiff-respondent Melanie Arace, as personal representative and successor in interest for Grace R. Miller and Trustee of the Grace R. Miller Trust of May 8, 2002, filed a complaint against Medico Investments LLC, which is a residential care facility owner.

The Melanie Arace lawsuit alleged that Medico or its employee, Elizabeth Colon, engaged in multiple acts of elder abuse of Miller.

The jury signed a verdict in favor of Melanie Arace for Grace R. Miller, which included an award of damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

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A watchdog report released recently called for new focus on protecting nursing home patients. The report shows that nursing home facilities have regularly chosen not to report thousands of serious cases of potential neglect and abuse of seniors who receive their health care through Medicare even though it is a federal requirement for them to report.

Auditors with the U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector’s General Office drilled down on episodes that were serious enough that the patient was taken straight from the nursing home to a hospital emergency room.

The data that revealed this alarming reality was done by scouring Medicare billing records. It was estimated that in 2016, about 6,600 cases of potential neglect or abuse were not reported as required. Nearly 6,200 patients were affected.

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Minnie Pearson was admitted to Carrington Place of St. Charles after she suffered a stroke. She was in her mid-70s at the time. About a month after her admission, nursing aide Heather Clark administered hydralazine to Pearson although it was another patient’s medication. She then became unresponsive and hypotensive.

The nursing home staff responded by attempting resuscitation and later called 911. However, Pearson died several months later. She was survived by four adult children.

The Pearson estate and family sued the nursing home, Heather Clark and her employer, Accountable Healthcare Staffing, alleging negligent administration of the hydralazine and choosing not to timely summon emergency medical assistance.

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The names of the individuals in this nursing home lawsuit were made confidential. Mr. Roe, a nursing home resident with a history of criminal sexual violence, became friendly with a fellow resident, an 82-year-old woman, Ms. Doe, who suffered from dementia. The staff at the nursing home, Maple Farm Nursing Home, were concerned about Doe and Roe being together. The situation was discussed with the County Office of Aging, which agreed to keep Doe and Roe separated.

Nevertheless, the nursing home chose not to do so. Early one morning, Mr. Roe went to Ms. Doe’s room and sexually assaulted her. The police were summoned to the nursing home and Roe admitted to the assault.

Ms. Doe, through a representative, sued the nursing home, its parent company and Mr. Doe ,alleging liability for the sexual assault.

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Barbara Carroll, 75, was admitted to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation after a surgery.  Within a week, she developed a significant pressure sore on her coccyx, which progressed to Stage IV despite her use of an air mattress. She died of sepsis a month after her admission to the skilled nursing facility and was survived by her three adult children.

One of her daughters filed a claim against Oak Rehabilitation Centers claiming that the owner was liable for choosing not to provide Carroll with a functioning air mattress. Without that air mattress, it was alleged that her pressure ulcer worsened.

Before a lawsuit was filed, the parties settled for $340,000. Continue reading

Morley Sprague suffered from end-stage multiple sclerosis and had a history of urinary tract infection (UTI) and degenerative joint disease.

After a hospitalization for treatment of sepsis and a UTI, he was admitted to the North Canyon Care Center, a nursing home that offered wound care services. Within a week, his two existing pressure ulcers worsened from Stage I and II to Stage IV. Additionally, he developed a Stage IV pressure sore on his right buttock.

After he left the nursing home, he required antibiotic treatment and continued medical care for his open wounds, which did not heal. Two years after his discharge, Sprague died of sepsis resulting from an infected pressure ulcer.

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