Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Falls and Fractures Pelvis
Upland, Calif. — Reginald Nations, a 74-year-old man with a brain disorder called progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) that affects movement, balance, thinking, and behavior, was admitted to Oakmont of San Antonio Heights for 24-hour care. It’s alleged that Nations was admitted despite having health conditions that prohibited him from being retained as a resident of Oakmont of San Antonio Heights, a non-medical Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE). During his short stay, Nations fell several times, eventually fracturing his pelvis. According to the Complaint, these injuries occurred because the facility did not put plans or interventions in place to prevent Nations from falling, and did not employ an adequate number of trained personnel.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Oakmont of San Antonio Heights for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“Wanting the best care for Reginald, his family trustingly turned to the facility, believing they would provide the level of care he required for his health conditions. Instead, the facility took Reginald in knowing he required more care and supervision than it could or would provide as a non-medical RCFE,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “It appears the facility was more concerned with retaining another paying resident, rather than providing appropriate medical and custodial care. The facility’s alleged insufficiency of staff, in both number and training and failure to correct these problems, was well documented by the Department of Social Services.”
Allegations and Background
Nations entered Oakmont of San Antonio Heights on June 18, 2018. He was placed there by his family because they were no longer able to meet the level of care associated with his physical and mental conditions, including those relating to his PSP.
Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) are an intermediate step between independent living and nursing homes and do not provide medical treatment. Instead, these facilities provide varying levels of non-medical care and services based upon resident needs.
Nations suffered from a health condition that, by law, precluded his admission to an RCFE. Instead, he required placement in a 24-hour skilled nursing home. The facility admitted and retained him as a resident in spite of his prohibited health condition, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit further alleges that upon Nations’ admission to the facility and throughout his residency, facility staff was well aware that he was at a high risk to suffer falls and consequent injury. The staff was also fully aware that due to his PSP, he required assistance with all activities of daily living including turning and repositioning, transferring into and out of bed and wheelchair, dressing grooming, bathing, hygiene, toileting assistance, catheter management, and medication management. Additionally, the facility was fully aware that the Nations needed 24-hour supervision and monitoring, assistance and monitoring with ambulation and transferring, the provision of safety and assistance devices to prevent accidents, and interventions to prevent further falls. Notwithstanding this knowledge, the suit alleges that the facility consciously disregarded the risks to Nations.
On July 26, 2018, Nations fell and was transferred to the emergency room at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center at 2 a.m.
Weeks later, on August 12, 2018, Nations suffered another fall. He was again transferred to the hospital.
The suit alleges that in spite of these falls and Nations’ increasing risk of falling, the facility failed to generate and implement an adequate care plan for him or put in place preventative measures to keep him from suffering further falls. The facility knowingly continued to disregard the risk to Nations, exposing him to extreme health and safety hazards.
Predictably, on August 21, 2018, Nations fell and was taken yet again to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis.
Before and during the Nations’ residency, facility operators were fully aware that he suffered from conditions that precluded his lawful admission. The facility operators knew that the Nations required more care and supervision than the facility could provide due to its alleged insufficiency of staff in both number and training, and as a non-medical facility, it was prohibited by law from caring for a resident with Nations’ condition. However, in order to promote profits, the facility accepted him, and in so doing, exposed Nations to extreme health and safety hazards, the lawsuit alleges.