Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Suffers Avoidable Falls, Bedsores & Aspiration
Palm Springs, Calif. — Stanley Wildes, Jr., a 66-year-old man who had undergone brain surgery necessitated by a stroke that left him with paralysis, was admitted to California Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for 24-hour skilled nursing care. It’s alleged that during the short time he was a resident, Wildes fell numerous times and developed horrific bedsores due to the facility’s withholding of required care and services. Further, Wildes also showed symptoms of aspiration that were allegedly ignored by facility staff, who did not inform his family but instead sought to hide the symptoms. This led to Wildes suffering aspiration and related complications. After needlessly suffering these preventable injuries, Wildes had a stroke at the facility and was hospitalized; he never returned to the facility.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against California Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“The Complaint alleges that California Nursing & Rehabilitation Center misrepresented the quality of the facility and its staff to lure Stanley in as a resident, all the while knowing they would, and could not, not provide the level of care he required,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “The Complaint very clearly alleges that the facility’s operators withheld the competent staff and services Stanley needed because they sought to line their own pockets at the expense of his health and that of other residents. Based on these allegations, it’s no surprise this facility—as well as others managed by the same operators—have a history of receiving deficiencies from the Department of Public Health well above the norm for skilled nursing facilities for failing to provide adequate care to residents.”
Allegations and Background
In June 2018, Wildes was admitted to California Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for rehabilitation and 24-hour skilled nursing care after undergoing brain surgery. The stroke left Wildes with bodily paralysis, and because of this condition, as well as his history of strokes and need for a feeding tube, his family could no longer care for him and agreed with his physician that he required professional care.
The lawsuit alleges that the family was deceived by the management of the California Nursing & Rehabilitation Center into selecting the facility for Wildes’ care. The facility knew through assessment information, family information and physician notes and orders that Wildes suffered from conditions rendering him at high risk for falls and resulting injury, and therefore required special care and assistance. The special care he required included 24-hour supervision and monitoring, assistance and monitoring with ambulation and transferring, safety and assistance devices to prevent accidents, assistance and monitoring with other activities of daily living, and putting interventions in place to prevent further falls.
Instead, it’s alleged the facility knowingly disregarded the risk to Wildes, and failed to create and implement proper care plans to prevent him from falling. Had these safety measures been in place, Wildes would have been protected from falls and injury, the suit alleges.
Predictably, and as a direct result of the withholding of his required care, Wildes suffered multiple preventable falls from his bed. The suit alleges that he suffered the falls because there was an insufficient number of qualified staff in the facility who were capable of providing the level of care Wildes required.
Unfortunately, the substandard care Wildes received continued unabated after his falls. Wildes was particularly susceptible to developing pressure sores because of his deteriorating condition after his falls. In spite of his increased susceptibility, the facility wrongfully withheld the care he needed, causing him to develop horrific, and avoidable, pressure sores, the suit alleges.
Wildes also developed increasing signs and symptoms of aspiration while at the facility. The suit alleges that no one from the facility informed Wildes’ family or doctor about the symptoms or what was being done to treat them. In fact, it is alleged that in an unfortunate effort to cover-up the facility’s failure to provide Wildes with required care, facility nurses simply concealed this condition from his family and untruthfully stated that nothing was wrong. Wildes was allowed to suffer aspiration and related complications that were allegedly caused by the inadequacy of the facility staff in both number and training.
In July 2018, Wildes had a stroke at the facility. He was transferred to Desert Regional Medical Center and never returned to the California Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
The lawsuit alleges that in order to unlawfully promote profits, the facility represented to Wildes, his family, and the general public that it was sufficiently staffed to meet his needs and that it operated in compliance with all applicable rules, laws, and regulations governing the operation of skilled nursing facilities in California. These representations were, and are, false, the suit further alleges.