Garcia, Artigliere & Medby Files Lawsuit Against Kindred Hospital South Bay for Wrongful Death of Infirm Elderly Woman

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against KND Development, the owner and operator of Kindred Hospital South Bay in Gardena, for elder abuse, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision and wrongful death of an infirm elderly woman.

Virginia Betty Brown was admitted to Kindred Hospital in February 2015. She was wheelchair bound and suffered from conditions such as severe dementia, pneumonia, congestive heart and renal failure. The suit states the hospital was fully aware that Ms. Brown was at extreme risk for cardiorespiratory arrest and required the use of an electricity-powered airway pressure system in order to breathe.

Around March 2, 2105, Ms. Brown died when a power outage caused her breathing machine to shut off. The general acute care hospital did not have a mandatory back-up power generator that would have provided her continuous and uninterrupted care. The improper maintenance of equipment is only one of many state and federal elder abuse violations cited in the lawsuit.

After the incident, when asked by one of Ms. Brown’s sons if his mother’s death had been caused by the lack of a back-up power generator, the director of risk management answered “yes”.

“It is a tragedy that could have been predicted because the hospital has a history of regulatory violations which reflect negligence in my judgment,” said Stephen M. Garcia who is representing Ms. Brown’s family. “Over the years, this hospital and others operated by the defendants in this case have been cited for deficiencies by the State of California’s Department of Public Health. There have also been instances where the defendants in this case did not report such incidents to the state apparently because they feared not being reimbursed by pursuant to applicable regulations to provide care to their patients who were injured by their neglect.”

“Unfortunately, the governing body of KND Development turned a blind eye to the fact that the hospital was understaffed, undertrained and under budgeted as well as ill prepared to even provide the minimum standard of care in the form of basic power to operate the facility,” continued Mr. Garcia.