California Nursing Facility Sued Over Death of Former Patient
Written by NHAbuseGuide on April 6, 2015
The family of a former patient has filed a lawsuit against Fountain Valley nursing facility, claiming alleged elder abuse, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, fraud and wrongful death, after the patient was injured and died under the care of the facility.
Arlayne Hoover, 73, the former patient of Fountain Valley, was first admitted to ManorCare on November 15, for rehabilitation after being treated for cellulitis. She had a history of falling in her home and suffered from medical conditions including scoliosis and osteoporosis. In May, Hoover had surgery on her left leg to remove cancer. Her leg was very brittle after the surgery and the multiple falls and she was considered a “high fall risk,” needing extra help when she walked around the facility.
In December, Hoover fell twice as she was trying to get to the restroom located about 15 feet from her bed. According to the lawsuit, she had asked for help from facility staff, but no one responded. After another fall later that month, Hoover asked ManorCare staff to take her to the hospital, however, no one called for emergency services. Hoover called for paramedics herself, and was taken to a local hospital where she was diagnosed with a left leg fracture. Hoover’s leg was splinted and she was taken back to ManorCare. She became “increasingly confused, would not make sense when she talked and would yell out in pain.” She was discharged from ManorCare on January 9, 2015, and placed into hospice care. Hoover died on January 15, less than a week later.
As claimed by the law firm, ManorCare and its employees failed to prevent Hoover from suffering any further falls due to “lack of training, understaffing, failure to allot adequate economic resources, unfitness of staff in capacity and competency.” The attorney who filed the lawuit against Fountain Valley is Stephen Garcia of Long Beach law firm Garcia, Artigliere & Medby. He stated, “A nursing home is supposed to create a care plan which addresses the needs of the patient, that’s the nursing home’s obligation.”
This is the third time that Garcia’s firm has sued ManorCare in the past 18 months. One case was resolved and another may be resolved this month, though the details are confidential. Kelly Kessler, spokeswoman for ManorCare stated in an email that the company has received the latest lawsuit and that, “ManorCare is currently in compliance with all state and federal healthcare regulations.” She has denied to comment any further.
The lawsuit aims for unspecified general, special and punitive damages, as well as attorney fees and costs. Any damages awarded would go to Hoover’s estate.Garcia said he “hopes the cases that his firm has filed against ManorCare will pressure the facility change its operations. We’re hoping to affect social change to allow for the better treatment of elders.”