Elderly Patient Infected and Dies at Newport Care Facility

Newport Beach, Calif. — William Joseph Mulvihill was transferred to Crystal Cove Care Center with the intent of receiving extensive care and assistance with all activities of daily living. Instead, he contracted several illnesses and died.

“William was just another source of revenue for the facility,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “They had was no apparent intention of providing the extensive care he required, and instead denied him care, ultimately leading to his death.”

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Crystal Cove Care Center for elder abuse, negligence and wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges that Mulvihill suffered a series of medical ailments under the facility’s care, which were neither treated nor reported.

Prior to his admittance, Mulvihill lived at home with his wife, was able to walk with the use of a cane, take care of his activities of daily living, still drove and was social. Mulvihill began to experience back pain and was prescribed oxycodone and Ambien for it. However, the medications began to cause Mulvihill to suffer falls.

When Mulvihill was transferred to the facility in November, he was completely immobile and unable to get up from his wheelchair. When the facility received him, they were fully aware of Mulvihill’s conditions and that he would require extensive care.

However, the facility ignored Mulvihill throughout the entirety of his stay. They continuously overmedicated him with antibiotics, which caused him to have chronic diarrhea. Unfortunately, Mulvihill’s diapers were rarely changed and when he would call for assistance with toileting, staff members were so slow to respond, he was forced to lie in his excrement for hours on end.

As a predictable result of the wrongful withholding of required care, Mulvihill developed severe and avoidable pressure sores on his stomach, back and buttocks. However, his family was never notified about them; instead, the facility engaged in a scheme to fraudulently conceal the existence of the sores by failing to chart their development.

When Mulvihill’s family would visit him, they observed that the facility was not paying attention to his food intake. Additionally, they noticed he would lie in bed in the same position for several hours at a time.

Not even three weeks after being admitted to the facility, Mulvihill was transferred to Hoag Hospital with blood in his stool caused by the chronic diarrhea, fecal matter in his urine, a gastrointestinal bleed and anemia.  He was also in respiratory failure as a result of being exposed to multiple infections.

Mulvihill required surgery for a tumor that had been growing on his kidney, which the facility was aware of but also never reported. It was only at the hospital’s emergency room that Mulvihill’s family and physician were finally notified of the existence of the wounds that he had developed.

Unfortunately, by the time Mulvihill’s conditions were brought to the attention of his family, it was too late. As a result of the facility’s neglect, Mulvihill passed away on February 5, 2016.