Garcia & Artigliere Files Lawsuit Against Five Star Quality Care for Negligence, Fraud, and Assault & Battery

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Five Star Quality Care, its management and its employees on behalf of 81-year-old Alzheimer’s patient James Thompson for four counts of elder abuse, including negligent care, negligent hiring and supervision, fraud, and assault and battery. Mr. Thompson was a patient at Van Nuys Health Care Center located in Van Nuys, California.

The lawsuit alleges that, on March 25, 2015, Mr. Thompson suffered significant head injuries from a fall which was a direct result of being physically assaulted by three other residents with well-known violent and aggressive propensities. The health care facility and its management attempted to fraudulently conceal the true cause of his injuries by telling his family he “had simply suffered a fall, hit his head and was being transferred to the hospital for stitches.” Soon after, the hospital’s social worker informed Mr. Thompson’s son of the truth that his father was pushed by other residents causing him to fall face first onto the floor, as well as admitted that those residents had physically assaulted others on two prior occasions.

“The facility clearly ignored their legal obligation as a ‘mandated reporter’ to report suspected elder abuse, especially amongst residents in their care,” says Stephen Garcia, lead attorney with Garcia & Artigliere. “For the same situation to occur three different times is completely unacceptable and needs to be corrected immediately.”

The lawsuit also alleges negligence in patient care, and negligence in hiring and supervising as the Van Nuys facility was insufficiently staffed in both numbers and training. They also failed to implement any precautionary measures to protect their residents, thereby causing Mr. Thompson to suffer a violent assault and battery at the hands of other residents.

In the last cause of action, fraud, Five Star failed to comply with health and safety codes, as well as properly report the occurrence that threatened the welfare of Mr. Thompson.