Two Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed Against California Nursing Home

A California nursing home in Northern California recently had two medical malpractice wrongful death cases filed against it for the deaths of two of its residents that occurred during 2011.

Case No. 1

In the first case, a man was admitted into the hospital in January, 2011, for treatment of his kidney disease and an infection. After being treated in the hospital, he was discharged to the nursing home for what was supposed to be a short stay for physical rehabilitation while his family arranged for medical care at his home. While in the nursing home, less than one hour after being left alone in his bed in his room, he was found lying unconscious on the floor of his room, suffering from a head injury. He died in the hospital two days later due to brain swelling.

The medical malpractice case filed by his family alleges that the nursing home failed to hire enough staff to take care of its residents’ needs, including the man who died, and that the negligence of the nursing home and its staff led to the man’s injuries and death.

Case No. 2

In the second case, a woman was transferred in February, 2011 from a hospital where she had been treated for her breathing problems to the nursing home for rehabilitative care. The medications that the woman was supposed to get at the nursing home included morphine sulfate and Xanax, which were ordered to be given three times a day (that is, every eight hours). Instead, as the medical malpractice case filed on behalf of her estate alleges, she was given the morphine sulfate and the Xanax at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. (that is, every four hours during the day time hours), which caused her to receive much more morphine sulfate and Xanax over a much shorter period of time than prescribed by her doctors.

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that as a result of being over-medicated with the morphine sulfate and the Xanax, the woman became medically distressed and had to be transported to a hospital emergency room for evaluation and treatment. The woman was diagnosed as having been overdosed with morphine that was causing kidney failure. She died two and a half weeks later in the hospital from acute renal failure that was allegedly caused by the medication overdose.


Medication errors in nursing homes are not uncommon. Medication errors in nursing homes include the failure to provide the prescribed medications to the appropriate residents at the proper times, giving the wrong medications to the wrong residents, giving multiple medications to residents in combinations that are contra-indicated or dangerous, and not promptly and appropriately addressing changes in the residents’ physical and/or mental conditions that may require a change in medications or dosages, etc. Any medication error in a nursing home can cause harm (or worse) to a resident, especially in an elderly population or very sick population such as found in most nursing homes.

Nursing home medication errors may also result from residents being unable to participate in their own medical care such as questioning the medications that are being given to them, due to their dementia or other medical or mental conditions (for instance, a patient in a hospital who has been receiving a “blue pill” every four hours may question why all of a sudden a “pink pill” is being offered to the patient whereas a nursing home resident who may not have all of his/her mental faculties may not notice the change or be aware that he/she should question the change).

If you, a loved one, a family member, or someone you know has suffered injuries in a nursing home that may be due to medical negligence, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney who may be able to investigate a possible medical malpractice claim.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to assist you with a medical malpractice claim for nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse. You may also reach us by toll free telephone call to 800-295-3959.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at 2:02 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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