Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Suffers Hip Fracture Due to Negligence
Los Angeles, Calif. — Charles Meloncon, an 83-year-old man with dementia, was transferred to Lomita Post-Acute Care Center for rehabilitation and assistance with daily living activities following hospitalization for pneumonia. Specifically, he was sent to Lomita to provide assistance to prevent the falls which are so prevalent and often fatal in our elder population. Despite being paid good money to protect Charles from suffering preventable falls, the Complaint alleges that Lomita just ignored the needs of Charles and ignored him such that he suffered an unwitnessed fall from his wheelchair in the facility’s dining room after being deserted and unattended for a very long time by the facility. When facility staff finally woke up and realized they had abandoned Charles he was eventually found on the floor by facility staff and he was transferred to Torrance Memorial Medical Center with a hip fracture requiring surgery.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Lomita Post-Acute Care Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“Charles was unfortunately allowed to suffer a dangerous fall and horrendous pressure sores, the very injuries his family paid a substantial amount of money to Lomita Post-Acute Care Center to safeguard him from,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “These injuries were entirely preventable had there been sufficient staff on duty to actually implement the protections required by the facility’s own Plan of Care and physician orders. The facility represented from the outset that they would provide adequate care and services consistent with state regulations, yet failed miserably in doing so.”
Allegations and Background
Upon Meloncon’s admission to the Lomita Post-Acute Care Center in September 2017, it’s alleged the facility had full knowledge of his medical conditions, including early stages of dementia leaving him with intermittent confusion and episodes of poor safety awareness, a high risk for the development of pressure ulcers, as well as limited mobility due to generalized weakness from pneumonia, thereby rendering him a high risk for falls. The facility took him in as a resident with the promise of required special care and assistance including 24-hour supervision and monitoring, 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. Despite this, the lawsuit states the facility failed to create and implement proper care plans to prevent Meloncon from suffering further falls and developing pressure sores, and in fact, this negligence led to these exact injuries sustained mere weeks after he was admitted.
It’s alleged the facility wrongfully withheld required care to Meloncon throughout the entirety of his stay and no staff ever informed his family, physician or legal representative about the severe pressure sores and injurious falls, or what was being done to treat them. This was a result of chronic understaffing in both number and training and was designed as a mechanism to reduce labor costs and predictably, the outcome was abuse and neglect of Meloncon and other residents.