Elderly Woman Starved, Suffers Broken Leg & Depression Due to Facility’s Negligence

Manteca, Calif.– By the time the Commons at Union Ranch sought medical attention for resident Sharon Montes, her leg was broken, and she was malnourished and depressed.

“The facility was understaffed, caregivers lacked proper training and the facility should have never accepted responsibility for Sharon,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “They did not have the necessary resources to provide the care she required, and regularly refused her request for assistance.”

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby is suing the Commons at Union Ranch for elder abuse, negligence and lack of supervision.  According to the lawsuit, the facility accepted responsibility for Montes’ care in June of 2014, and was fully aware of her ailments. She was wheelchair bound and suffered from multiple sclerosis. Montes also needed assistance with bathing, grooming and activities of daily living. When Montes’ family visited, they found that her room smelled like urine, she was sitting in her own feces and was rapidly losing weight.

The staff’s negligence was magnified at mealtimes. Montes requested assistance getting to the dining room so that she could eat, but was ignored. The complaint states she was forced to wheel herself to and from the dining room. If she was “late” to the dining room, staff refused to feed her. “When she arrived for her meals she was told she could not sit at the table in her wheelchair, but would have to transfer to a chair in order to eat, despite her multiple sclerosis, which is reprehensible,” Garcia said.

According to the lawsuit, by June 2015, Montes had fallen twice. After her second accident, she was left lying on the floor until the next morning.  Instead of conducting meaningful assessments of injuries, staff member’s reportedly grabbed her, ignoring that her leg was clearly stuck in her wheelchair. Montes screamed out in pain that her leg was hurting. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors confirmed she had a broken leg and multiple pressure sores, which exacerbated her multiple sclerosis. Doctors said she was malnourished and down to “skin and bones.”

When Montes was discharged from the hospital, the facility refused to accept her as a resident, stating she required more care than they could provide.  Due to the facility’s repeated negligence and their inability to properly train staff, Montes suffered irreparable damage.