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Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Dies as a Result of Facility Negligence

Garcia & Artigliere

Van Nuys, Calif. – After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, James Thompson was admitted to Van Nuys Health Care Center for 24-hour assistance. His disease rendered him uncommunicative, and due to his various medications, he was considered a high fall risk. The complaint alleges that Van Nuys Health Care Center accepted responsibility for Thompson, yet rather than protect and keep him safe from injury, it’s alleged that the facility knowingly allowed Thompson to interact with a knowingly aggressive resident. As a result of the facility’s alleged negligence, Thompson was assaulted and suffered serious injuries, leading to his eventual death.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Van Nuys Health Care Center for wrongful death.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many cases where nursing facilities like Van Nuys Health Care Center prioritize increasing their profits at the expense of residents,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “It’s alleged that Van Nuys Health Care ignored the knowledge of the violent propensities of one of their residents and failed to institute precautionary measures to protect elders like James, resulting in his violent assault and subsequent injuries. Had Van Nuys Health Care Center adhered to applicable rules, laws, and regulations, as well as the acceptable standards of practice governing the operation of a nursing facility, in our judgment, James’ assault would not have occurred.”

Allegations and Background

Thompson suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and had the propensity to wander into others space. The facility was fully aware that Thompson required specific care to prevent him from interacting with known aggressive residents, as well as the implementation of care plans to prevent falls and injury.

The lawsuit states that the facility was aware of a dangerous resident on the premises and that this particular resident had a history of assaulting other patients, including pushing and shoving. The facility allegedly allowed the dangerous resident to roam freely and unmonitored in disregard of known perils, including the risk of assaults to residents of the facility, like Thompson.

On March 25, 2015, it’s alleged that the dangerous resident pushed Thompson to the floor in an incident unwitnessed by the facility staff. The lawsuit states that almost immediately after the assault, the facility tried to cover up and conceal the incident from Thompson’s family. His son received a call from a staff member, who fraudulently stated that Thompson had suffered a fall, hit his head and was being transferred to the hospital for stitches.

Thompson suffered significant head injuries and continued to suffer an overall physical and mental decline, which caused him to pass away on April 17, 2016.


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