$750K Settlement Obtained in Elder Abuse Lawsuit Against a San Bernardino Skilled Nursing Facility

Following a week-long jury trial, Garcia & Artigliere elder abuse attorneys Stephen M. Garcia and William M. Artigliere prevailed in reaching a $750,000 settlement on behalf of Guillermina Ruvalcaba, an elderly woman who suffered dangerous falls and a brain bleed while she was a resident at Hacienda Heights Healthcare & Wellness Centre in San Bernardino, CA. A double amputee in a wheelchair, Ms. Ruvalcaba was totally dependent on facility staff for transfers, ambulation and bed mobility, and was deemed a high fall risk. 

In March 2020, Ms. Ruvalcaba suffered a fall; however, no change was made to her Fall Risk Prevention & Management care plan. Facility notes stated that Ms. Ruvalcaba complained of a headache and backache due to the fall, had a palpable lump on the back of her head that was tender and painful to touch, and complained of left shoulder pain. 

According to additional facility records, from March 26, 2020, until her discharge, it was documented that Ms. Ruvalcaba was doing fine; however, on March 28, 2020, the records reflected a second fall wherein a nurse found her on the floor. Ms. Ruvalcaba was transferred to the hospital because she had swelling on the back of her head and was vomiting. When Ms. Ruvalcaba arrived at the hospital, she was diagnosed with a brain bleed.  

The jury found that the facility recklessly neglected Ms. Ruvalcaba and that neglect was a substantial factor in causing her injuries. Notably, the jury awarded $600,000 in punitive damages as punishment for the Defendants’ failures in caring for Mrs. Ruvalcaba and further found that the co-Defendants were complicit in the neglect and ratified its employee misconduct.  Following the jury verdict and judgment, the Defendants settled the matter for a confidential amount prior to Garcia & Artigliere filing a motion for attorney’s fees and costs.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact our attorneys at (800) 281-8515 for a free case consultation.