Costa Mesa Care Center Sued for Wrongful Death

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Mesa Verde Post Acute Care Center located in Costa Mesa, California, for elder abuse, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, and wrongful death of one of its patients, Sebastian Lopez. The lawsuit alleges that the facility neglected to seek treatment for a fall suffered by Mr. Lopez, which resulted in a chest wound that eventually caused his death.

“The facility was well aware that Sebastian required a very particular and required level of care than they would or could provide,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Disregarding this obligation, the facility took the money, accepted the known responsibility for him and then failed miserably to provide Sebastian his required care that needlessly resulted in his death.”

In mid-June of 2015, after the removal of a cardioverter-defibrillator and several liters of fluid, Mr. Lopez was discharged from Hoag Hospital Newport Beach and was transferred to Mesa Verde Post Acute Care Center. Upon his admission into the facility, Mr. Lopez was suffering from diabetes, pneumonia, congenital heart failure and hypertension. Because of these various medical conditions, Mr. Lopez was classified as a high risk for falls, therefore requiring specific interventions. The staff was well aware of Mr. Lopez’s health issues through both medical assessments and family information, and knew that he would require 24-hour supervision and monitoring with all activities of daily living in order to prevent accidents.

On June 30, 2015, a facility nurse told Mr. Lopez’s daughter that he was in pain, but explained nothing else. His daughter instructed the nurse to administer his prescribed pain medication, which the nurse failed to provide. In early July, Mr. Lopez’s daughter visited the facility only to find her father’s bed very low to the ground. Curious as to why the bed was so low, she asked her father if he had suffered a fall, to which he responded “Yes.” Additionally, relating to that fall, Mr. Lopez had mentioned to his wife that a nurse had become angry, and telling him he could not get up on his own she put him back into bed without performing any assessments or notifying the family.

As a direct result of the facility’s wrongful withholding of required care, Mr. Lopez suffered a preventable fall. Moreover, the facility allowed Mr. Lopez to lie in pain for hours while they concocted a story to conceal their misconduct.

Furthermore, the staff neglected to frequently and properly monitor Mr. Lopez’s blood sugar as ordered by his physician, causing his blood sugar levels to swing wildly and unabatedly from low to high. Staff members also failed to administer pain medications to Mr. Lopez that had been prescribed by his physician, causing him to experience and remain in excessive pain. His blood pressure regularly fluctuated, and the facility continued to neglect not only his spiking blood pressure, but also his loss of consciousness and falls.

On July 6, 2015, Mr. Lopez rapidly deteriorated and lost consciousness. After some resuscitation attempts, he was transported to Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, where it was revealed that he suffered from a severe chest wound that was likely related to a fall. Later that day, Mr. Lopez passed away as a result of the mistreatment he had received at Mesa Verde Post Acute Care Center .