Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

Ellis Mae Reed, 72, had a history of significant health problems that included diabetes and vascular disease. After she developed a blood clot, she was admitted to Jackson Hospital. For five days, she remained bedridden. She developed sepsis and was moved to the facility’s critical care unit, where she was diagnosed as having a Stage 4 pressure sore on her sacrum; staff administered three debridements and hospice care.

Reed unfortunately died approximately three months after her Jackson Hospital admission. She is survived by her 12 adult children.

Reed’s son, on behalf of her estate, sued the hospital, alleging that it chose not to turn and reposition her during the first five days of her hospital admission, which was the method that should have been used to prevent her pressure sore. The Reed family also alleged that the medical chart contained false entries.

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Natalie Clark, 82, had a history of mental health problems. She was admitted to a nursing home where she resided for approximately one year. During her time at the nursing home, staff administered a cocktail of antipsychotic medications, which included Haldol, Seroquel and Poloxin.

She developed neurological symptoms and painful contractures, which led to her hospitalization. This condition occurred after she was given these medicines.

Clark later died after suffering from pneumonia. She was survived by her adult son.

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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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The plaintiff, Godfrey Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home, filed a complaint for services that was given to the defendant, John Toigo. At the time of the complaint, Toigo was a resident in this nursing home care facility. Through his son, Michael Toigo, he filed an answer and included affirmative defenses as to the nursing home’s lack of standing.

The court in Madison County, Ill., erred in entering a default judgment against Toigo on the nursing home’s oral motion for default. The court ruled that as the defendant was denied the opportunity to defend on the merits of his responsive pleadings and denied the opportunity to challenge the nursing home’s affidavit as to damages, the appellate court found that the trial court erred in denying Toigo’s pro se motion to vacate the default judgment.

Godfrey Healthcare served its motion to reconsider, a notice of hearing on Toigo’s former lawyer rather than on Toigo as required by the court order.

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A pediatric home health services provider was sued by an employee who alleged that it ignored the employee’s complaints about the lack of assistance in terms of physically lifting patients.

The lawsuit was filed against Epic Health Services Inc. d/b/a Aveanna Healthcare. It was filed on March 4, 2019 in Harris County, Texas District Court.

In the complaint, it was stated that the employee was injured on May 14, 2017 while turning a semi-comatose patient for incontinence care.

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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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Minnie Pearson was admitted to Carrington Place of St. Charles, a nursing home, after she suffered a stroke. She was in her mid to late 70s when she was admitted. About a month after her admission, a nursing aide, Heather Clark, administered another patient’s hydralazine medicine to Pearson and Pearson became unresponsive and hypotensive.

The nursing home staff tried resuscitation and then called 911. However, Pearson died several months later. She was survived by her four adult children. Hydralazine is known as a vasodilator that works by relaxing the muscles in the patient’s blood vessels to help dilate or widen them. Administration of this drug lowers blood pressure and allows the blood to flow more freely through the patient’s veins and arteries. Hydralazine is used to treat high blood pressure or hypertension.

Pearson did not need this medication.

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Rhonda Stephan, as the personal representative of the estate of Bobby Gene Hicks, appealed an order by the trial court granting a motion to compel arbitration that was filed by Millennium Nursing and Rehab Center Inc. Stephan contended that Bobby Hicks, her father, died in 2015 while he was a resident at Millennium Nursing and Rehab Center, which is a skilled-nursing facility owned and operated by Millennium.

While Hicks was hospitalized at Crestwood Medical Center, Stephan signed all of the paperwork arranging for her father to be discharged from the hospital and then transferred to the rehab center at Millennium Nursing. However, she did not hold a power of attorney for healthcare or any other actual legal authority to act on behalf of her dad or to enter into a contract in his name.

Hicks did not sign any of the paperwork. However, he is named as a party to the contracts included within that paperwork.

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Carolyn Cauffiel was 75 and had a history of pneumonia. She was admitted to the Heartland Rehabilitation and Care Center for a five-month period.

While she was there, she complained of breathing problems. An attending nursing home nurse came to assist her but did not auscultate her lung sounds. Auscultate is a Latin verb to listen to the internal sounds of the body, usually using a stethoscope. Auscultation is done for the purposes of examining the circulatory and respiratory systems (heart and breath sounds), as well as listening to the gastrointestinal system for sounds.

The nurse then told her colleague that Cauffiel’s lungs were clear and that she was “faking it” (breathing problems).

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