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Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Cancer Patient Falls and Fractures Femur

Garcia & Artigliere

La Jolla, Calif. — Charles Kinney, a 78-year-old man, suffered from bone cancer, a history of falls, and limited mobility, and was therefore a high risk to suffer further falls. He was admitted to La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for special care and assistance, including 24-hour supervision and monitoring particularly to prevent from rehabilitating and deadly falls. Unfortunately, La Jolla woefully failed in providing required care to Charles. While in the facility’s care, Kinney’s family frequently found him soiled in his own feces, and in October 2017, Kinney fell out of bed and suffered a fractured femur as a result of the staff’s failure to implement required and promised preventive measures for falling.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Charles entered La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center with the belief he would receive appropriate care to keep him safe as he awaited cancer treatment; instead, the facility acted in disgracefully and placed Charles in situations that would and did endanger his health, as alleged in our complaint,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “The facility represented it would staff a sufficient number of personnel on a 24-hour basis to provide services according to Charles’ resident care plan, but based on his injuries, it seems the facility was more focused on increasing its earnings as opposed to providing the legally mandated minimum care. It’s clear Charles’ injuries were not the product of an isolated failure, but rather the result of prolonged neglect and abuse.”

Allegations and Background

The lawsuit asserts that La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was aware of Charles Kinney’s medical conditions which required assistance and monitoring with ambulation and transferring; the provision of safety and assistance devices to prevent accidents, assistance and monitoring with other activities of daily living; and the implementation of interventions to prevent further falls. Even with this knowledge, it’s alleged the facility failed to provide sufficient staffing in number and training, or implement any number of preventive measures to avert additional falls, which is in direct violation of the rules, laws and regulations governing the facility.

In or about late September 2017, Kinney was provided laxatives and was often found soiled in his own feces, despite his family having reported the issue to facility staff.

On October 2, 2017, Kinney fell out of bed onto the floor, resulting in a fractured femur. He was sent to Scripps La Jolla Hospital, where he underwent surgery the next day. He was discharged several weeks later to The Cove at La Jolla, where he started cancer treatment delayed by the fracture suffered at the facility.

Had the facility provided services consistent with California regulations, Kinney’s injuries could have been avoided.


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