Elderly Woman Wrongfully Discharged Then Dumped in Homeless Shelter
Panorama City, Calif. — Carole Bondi, a 77-year-old woman with significant physical and cognitive impairments, was admitted to Panorama Meadows Nursing Center for rehabilitation and continued care and monitoring, following hospitalization for a stroke and brain bleed. Approximately two weeks later, Bondi was allegedly wrongfully discharged from the facility to an unsafe and uninhabitable shelter for the homeless, which was in direct contradiction of the expressed wishes of her family. Based on the facility’s actions, it’s evident Bondi was discharged because she was not creating the type of revenue that the facility desired due to her financial status, and the staff knew that if they literally dumped her out of the facility, they could replace her with a more lucrative patient. On December 21, Bondi was transferred to Mission Community Hospital after local authorities concluded she was not receiving necessary care at the uninhabitable homeless shelter where she was illegally discharged to by the facility.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Panorama Meadows Nursing Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“Carole was deprived of required care she desperately needed simply because Panorama Meadows Nursing Center wanted to protect their bottom line and knowingly put their profits over the health and safety of residents,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “If the facility could not meet Carole’s needs, they were legally required to document the specific needs they could not meet, attempts to meet the needs and the services available at the receiving facility. The facility breached this duty, and intentionally and despicably dumped Carole, exposing her to extreme health and safety hazards, and causing her further injuries.”
Allegations and Background
The lawsuit states that Panorama Meadows Nursing Center’s illegal patient dumping of Bondi directly resulted in Bondi being deprived of required medical, nursing and custodial care, leading directly to her entirely preventable injuries, including severe dehydration and severe malnourishment, as well as other injuries. These injuries were not the product of an isolated failure but rather the result of prolonged neglect and abuse that arose out of four calculated business practices by the facility, including understaffing; relentless marketing and sales practices to increase resident census despite knowledge of ongoing care deprivation; utilizing unqualified and untrained employees who, by law, were forbidden by law to administer nursing care to residents; and recruiting heavier care residents for which the nursing home received higher reimbursements, despite the dangerous levels of staff who were incapable of meeting the needs of the existing resident population.
By law, the facility was required to permit Bondi and all other residents to remain at the facility, and not be transferred or discharged, unless:
- It is necessary for the resident’s welfare and the resident’s needs cannot be met in the facility;
- The resident’s health has improved sufficiently so the resident no longer needs the services provided by the facility;
- The safety of individuals in the facility is endangered due to the clinical or behavioral status of the resident;
- The health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered;
- The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay;
- The facility ceases to operate.
It’s alleged that none of these aforementioned legal prerequisites for discharge were present with respect to Bondi. Further, the facility owed and breached a duty to Bondi to provide written notice to Bondi and Bondi’s legal representative at least thirty days before transferring or discharging, In unilaterally discharging and dumping Bondi into a homeless shelter by herself, without notifying her family or legal representative, the facility flagrantly disregarded and violated their own general written policy and procedure, and failed to comply with the rules, laws, and regulations governing the facility.