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Garcia & Artigliere Represents 46-Year-Old with Lou Gehrig’s Disease in Dependent Adult Abuse Claims

Garcia & Artigliere

Our attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere have filed suit against Reche Canyon Regional Rehab Center and its management for the stage III+ pressure sore acquired by an immobile patient with ALS.

When his family could no longer care for him, a 46-year-old man with mental and physical limitations due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, was admitted to the Reche Canyon Regional Rehab Center, hereafter known as ‘the facility.’ At the time of his admission, the patient was immobile and could only respond to yes or no questions by blinking his eyes. Additionally, the man possessed a Medicaid-issued computer, specially designed to help ALS patients communicate.

Throughout the course of his care, which began in February 2019, the client’s health and safety was disregarded, his needs were ignored, and the facility withheld care and services. The client was fitted with a feeding tube and a catheter, but was not evaluated for bedsores, despite his high-risk condition. To make matters worse, the client was not met with proper sanitary care and the facility did not ensure he was clean and dry from urine and feces. The facility did not engage in any measures of bedsore prevention, nor did they make any efforts to mitigate infection. As a result, the patient developed a level III+ decubitus ulcer on his left buttock – along with multiple cases of UTI and pneumonia, for which he was hospitalized.

When his wound was discovered, the patient was not transferred to an acute care facility. Instead, management concealed his injury. In March 2019, the patient’s family discovered the wound, which was the size of an apple, open and bloody, and red and purple in color. When the family confronted the facility, their visitation was restricted, they were barred from bringing cell phones or cameras into the facility, and they were escorted in and out of the building by staff.

The family requested a special air mattress for their injured relative, but the facility denied their request. The family brought antibiotic ointment in an effort to alleviate the patient’s suffering and brought in their own air mattress in May of 2019. The facility refused to accept the assistance and called the police on the patient’s family. 

In June and August 2019, the patient was hospitalized multiple times and the facility confessed to “losing” his Medicaid-issued communication device. The patient’s medications were changed and he was hooked to an IV without consent. At the time of filing, the client is still residing in the facility while his family seeks another option.

The client’s injuries were entirely avoidable and caused by the underfunding and understaffing of the facility, whose managers were funneling cash into non-existent, “phantom services,” such as a $1,384,850 charge for a “home office.” The facility continues to operate with insufficient budgets, even though they have received over $11.5 million from Medicare and Medicaid.

Garcia & Artigliere is holding the facility and its management responsible for the client’s injuries and liable for negligent hiring and supervision. On behalf of the client, our attorneys are requesting general, special, punitive and exemplary damages – as well as further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

If you have any information about this case, or need help with a similar claim, call our attorneys at (800) 328-2630 or set up a free, confidential case review.

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