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Garcia & Artigliere Represent 100-year-old Woman After Alleged Neglect Leads to Catastrophic Hip Fracture

Garcia & Artigliere

The woman was a resident of Long Beach Healthcare Center, LLC from 2014 until Nov. 28, 2019, when she was admitted to Pacific Hospital in Long Beach for a hip fracture necessitating surgical repair.

Due to her advanced age and various conditions, a woman’s family made the difficult decision to admit her to a 24-hour skilled nursing facility in Long Beach, Calif. Over the years following admission, the woman’s mental ability and physical condition rapidly deteriorated. According to the complaint, filed in The Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles, the woman’s needs were routinely left unmet. Family members allegedly found her with crusted food in and around her mouth and/or sitting in her own urine and feces on numerous occasions.

By 2019, the patient had turned 100 and lost her ability to walk or stand. She was dependent on the facility for all activities, including mobility and transfers to and from her bed. The complaint alleges defendants should have understood the patient’s high risks for falls and managed them accordingly. Unfortunately, the woman fell out of bed on or about Nov. 28, 2019, after a series of trips and actual falls. The patient sustained a hip fracture, which is an especially catastrophic injury for people of her age. Statistics indicate that 25% of older individuals die within a year of sustaining a hip fracture.

Instead of notifying the patient’s family, physician, or legal representative about the alleged fall and resulting hip fracture, the facility attempted to conceal her injuries. Family members were invited to the facility due to an “incident,” but they soon discovered the severity of their loved one’s situation. After the significant and needless delay, the facility finally called 911.

While accidents sometimes happen, the attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere allege their client’s fall was not accidental, but rather caused by negligent hiring and supervision. At all relevant times, the facility and its associated companies were led by one individual, who funneled payments of up to $390,550 and debts of about $662,046 into “administrative services” and sham transactions, thus leaving the facility with insufficient operating funds. In 2017, the facility received 8 enforcement actions from the Department of Public Health (DPH) when the national average was 1, as well as $140,000 in fines. By the time of filing in 2019, the facility had already received 3 DPH actions and an additional $140,000 in fines.

As a result of this alleged financial scheming, the facility was understaffed in both number and training and provided substandard care throughout the entirety of the patient’s stay. The woman needed 24-hour supervision and her injury could have been prevented with proper monitoring, evaluation, care, and assistive devices. Due to the facility’s alleged understaffing and lack of training plan, which was enacted to cut costs, injuries like the plaintiff’s were not just likely, but inevitable.

Due to the alleged circumstances created by the defendants, Garcia & Artigliere is requesting general damages, special damages, punitive and exemplary damages, and all other relief the court deems fit on behalf of their client.

If you have any information regarding this case or witnessed any of the allegations above, please contact Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630.

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