A California nursing home and two of its employees were charged during mid-August 2015 with causing the death of a 58-year-old nursing home resident. An arrest warrant was issued on August 14, 2015 for both of the employees charged, and bail was set at $50,000 for both.
The resident had resided at the nursing home for 14 months so that he could receive care and services regarding the burns that he suffered to over 90% of his body during an arson fire that occurred two decades earlier (in September 1991, a transient reportedly poured gasoline in the hallway of the man’s former apartment building around 6 a.m. in an apparent narcotics-related dispute with a former tenant who had moved out of the apartment building days earlier).
On August 24, 2014, the resident was transported by ambulance to a local hospital due to respiratory distress. He died in the hospital six days later. It is alleged that the man’s condition was so severe at the time he arrived at the hospital that his symptoms would have been present for several days before he was transported to the hospital.
The nursing home is alleged to have delayed calling 911, failed to document critical changes in the resident’s condition, and made false entries in the resident’s medical records (80 change of condition forms that required a physician’s signature were not signed by a physician). The nursing home resident reportedly was examined by a physician in the nursing home fewer times than was required by law.
The nursing home’s alleged failure to properly care for the resident led to his severe weight loss (he was six foot one inch tall but weighed only 125 pounds at the time he arrived in the emergency room), extensive pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, and sepsis, which led to multiple organ failure and resulted in his death on August 30, 2014.
The felony complaint for arrest warrant that was filed on August 13, 2015 charged the nursing home with involuntary manslaughter, alleging that from April 8, 2014 to August 24, 2014, the nursing home resident was in the care and custody of the nursing home and “without due caution and circumspection, unlawfully and without malice caused the death” of the nursing home resident.
One of the nursing home’s employees was alleged to have the care and custody of the nursing home resident, whom she knew was a dependent adult. She was charged to have “willfully caused and permitted” the nursing home resident to be injured. In a separate count of the felony complaint, the employee was also charged with causing the death of the resident. The employee faces a maximum 9-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine if convicted.
The other nursing home employee was charged with causing great bodily harm to the nursing home resident, along with abuse of a dependent adult. The employee faces a maximum 7-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine if convicted.
The nursing home faces a $10,000 fine and exclusion from state and federally-funded health care programs if convicted.
To read the detailed declaration filed in support of the complaint for arrest warrant, click here.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) during a nursing home stay, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim attorney in your state to investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
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