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Fresno Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

If an elderly patient, a relative, a medical professional, or a concerned third party, suspects that a senior citizen of Fresno County is being neglected or abused, there are two avenues to seek help: the first is to call the local police, who will open an investigation into the claims. They will report to the Fresco District Attorney General, who will then be responsible for the case.

The second is to contact APS, Adult Protective Services, who will send a case worker to assess the situation. If the case worker believes that a crime is being committed, they will then turn to the local authorities and the Attorney General. These options are available to any concerned party in the Fresno, CA area.

In most cases, these two routes are enough to resolve the issue of suspected abuse. In the last year, however, two cases in the Fresno area have gone to a much higher court.

Clovis Nursing Home

In 2015, the Fresno County Superior Court saw a wrongful death case regarding the life of an 88-year-old woman named Josephine Mino. Her daughter, Gail Gaston, reported that her mother was in the care of a nursing facility for less than a month before sepsis and cardiac arrest, caused by her worsening condition due to neglect, took her life.

She also claims that the records kept by the staff at the facility were falsified and inaccurate. The nursing facility has been under investigation before; in 2010, they settled with former and current patients in the amount of 65 million dollars, after being found guilty of putting their residents at risk for failing to follow state law for adequate health care.

While the facility cited Mino’s extensive illness and injuries before she arrived at the facility as cause of her death, Gaston’s lawyers presented evidence of bed sores, ignored complaints of abdominal pain, ignored symptoms of her condition growing steadily worse, and delayed contacting of emergency services.

Torrance Nursing Home

A former patient at the Torrance nursing home, Fresno citizen Lola McIntyre has filed a lawsuit against the facility for alleged abuse and neglect.

This case was presented to the courts in December of 2015, wherein McIntyre claimed that the staff ignored her complaints after she fell out of a wheelchair, and then did not notify her doctor until the next day, who discovered that she had broken both her hip and her shoulder.

The lawsuit states that the healthcare facility was negligent in its treatment, as well as in its hiring and management. It also alleges fraud. McIntyre suffers from several medical conditions, including bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia, stroke, heart attack, and arthritis. During her stay at the facility, her family was told that she had been assigned a companion to ensure that she didn’t get hurt during her frequent night wanderings. Instead, it was found that she was left alone to wander, nearly starting a fire in one instance.

While the case is ongoing, McIntyre is staying in another medical center.

Adult Protective Services

In cases like McIntyre’s, or Mino’s, the Adult Protective Services in California could have provided emergency response. Both cases clearly fall into the reportable abuse areas identified by the APS, which include physical abuse, neglect, psychological abuse, financial abuse, poor physical care, malnutrition and dehydration, abandonment, isolation, sexual abuse, and non-compliance with medical care. With the APS cannot remove or place patients into a skilled nursing facility, they can initiate the emergency services that have the power to do so.

The APS hotline in the Fresno area is open 24 hours a day and can be reached at 559-600-3383.

 

Sources:

http://www.co.fresno.ca.us/DepartmentPage.aspx?id=4532

 

http://www.co.fresno.ca.us/DepartmentPage.aspx?id=4184

 

http://www.dailybreeze.com/social-affairs/20160110/senior-sues-torrance-nursing-home-alleging-staff-withheld-care

 

http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/crime/article19539192.html

 

 

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