Lawsuit Filed: Quadriplegic, Deaf Woman Suffers Fall Requiring Surgery
Los Angeles, Calif. – Completely disabled since birth, Jennifer Mieure was admitted to Elwyn NC – Babcock suffering from cerebral palsy, profound intellectual disability, quadriplegia, and other debilitating conditions leaving her unable to talk, hear, or walk. As the result of her medical conditions, Mieure required total care including two-person assistance in and out of bed with the use of a Hoyer Lift. In September 2017, two facility staff members attempted to transfer Mieure and allegedly did not place her wheelchair close enough to the lift, which resulted in dropping Mieure and sending more than 20 pieces of bone fragments into her sinus cavity. Mieure underwent surgery to remove bone shrapnel and lost four of her teeth.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Elwyn NC – Babcock for dependent adult abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“Elwyn NC – Babcock retained Jennifer as a resident even though it appears they had not properly trained their staff in fall risk prevention, and despite knowing she required a high and specific level of care as a quadriplegic,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Predictably, the facility’s alleged withholding of necessary medical and custodial care forced Jennifer to incur unjustifiable pain and suffering after literally falling on her face during a bed transfer. This horrific outcome could have been avoided if the facility acted in accordance with state law regarding the operation of Adult Residential Facilities in California.”
Allegations and Background
Jennifer Mieure was admitted to Elwyn NC – Babcock in November 2014, and the lawsuit contends the facility was fully aware of her prior medical conditions and the dangers she would be exposed to if they failed to have adequately trained and sufficient personnel transfer Mieure in and out of her bed. It’s alleged that despite the facility’s own assessments and care plans, and physicians’ orders, the nursing staff was unable to comply with the care plans and the physicians’ orders to protect Mieure from health and safety hazards simply because they did not have the time or competency to do so. Had the facility staff provided the proper care, and appropriately observed and reported to Mieure’s physician in a timely fashion, she would not have experienced the resulting injuries.
On or about September 6, 2017, the facility was allegedly, as it had been many times before in what constituted a pattern of practice, understaffed in both number and training so as to preclude staff from having the knowledge and the time to properly perform their job to protect residents of the facility, specifically Mieure. As a direct result, Mieure suffered a totally preventable fall and corresponding severe injuries, including sending twenty-plus pieces of bone fragments into her sinus cavity.