Lawsuit Filed: Santa Monica Nursing Facility Conceals Elder Abuse

Santa Monica, Calif. – The Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica was aware of the serious medical conditions Armando Jose Bermudez suffered from – especially after having been furnished with the knowledge of his five prior strokes. The Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica accepted responsibility for Bermudez, knowing full well that he would require daily assistance and monitoring. Unfortunately, it’s alleged that the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica accepted Bermudez to profit from him versus providing him the required care he needed, which caused him to fracture his leg.

Garcia, Artigliere, Medby & Faulkner filed a lawsuit against the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica for elder abuse and negligent hiring and supervision.

“When Armando entered the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica, the facility was well-aware that he had a significant risk for falls and injury. It appears that throughout the course of his stay, Armando’s needs were completely ignored,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Unfortunately, after Armando suffered a fall due to an alleged lack of basic care, the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica apparently decided to conceal the injury instead of disclosing it to Armando’s family and physician.”

Allegations and Background

In 2013, Bermudez was admitted to the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica for long-term care stemming from his medical conditions, which included five strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and sundown syndrome. He also had a feeding tube and was bed- and wheelchair-bound.

The lawsuit alleges that Bermudez’s daughter visited the facility daily, and often found her father unacceptably dirty, unbathed and unfed. The lawsuit also states that when she complained to the facility’s staff about his condition, they explained that they were understaffed and overworked.

On November 25, 2016, Bermudez’s daughter went to visit him. When she arrived, she heard screaming and found a staff member moving Bermudez around as he cried in pain. The daughter spoke to another staff member who said the pain was caused by Bermudez’s arthritis.

The lawsuit alleges that later that day, Bermudez’s daughter found out that his doctor had ordered physical therapy to evaluate whether or not the pain was caused by his arthritis; however, the nurse had ignored the physician’s orders. The lawsuit explains that in an effort to conceal what had actually occurred, staff later told Bermudez’s daughter three different inaccurate stories.

The lawsuit states that Bermudez was then transferred to St. John’s Medical Center, where they found he had a leg fracture, requiring surgery. The surgeons at St. John’s told Bermudez’s daughter to file a formal complaint for elder abuse because her father had to have been hit with a lot of force to break his leg where it was broken.

On December 9, 2016, Bermudez’s daughter was visiting the facility when she found out that a state investigator was present. When she tried to speak to the investigator, staff members physically tried to keep her away. In a blatant attempt to cover up what had truly happened, staff members made false statements to the government official.