Garcia, Artigliere & Medby Files Lawsuit Against Covenant Care California, LLC for Dependent Adult Abuse, Fraud and Wrongful Death

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Covenant Care California, LLC alleging dependent adult abuse, fraud and wrongful death on behalf of the family of Gilbert Guerra Jr.

The lawsuit alleges that Covenant Care California, which operates a skilled nursing facility in Long Beach under the name Royal Care (“Royal Care”) Skilled Nursing Center, was understaffed in both number as well as competency of the limited staff made available to residents in order to maximize profits. Covenant Care California cut staffing costs to maximize their own profit even though the State of California’s Department of Public Health had undertaken enforcement action against the facility for failing to meet the required minimum staffing levels for resident care.

The lawsuit further alleges that although Royal Care Skilled Nursing Center was aware that failing to meet the minimum staffing requirements required by law would place their residents at risk, the management team at Royal Care ignored the risk to its residents and continued to act in a way that would allow for their own money tree at the expense of the minimum care its residents were entitled to under the law.

In April 2014, Gilbert Guerra Jr. was admitted to Royal Care Skilled Nursing Center with a pre-existing health condition that made him susceptible to pressure sores and infection. Though the facility was aware of his condition, the staff withheld the proper care that would prevent pressure sores from developing. Not only did Mr. Guerra sustain severe pressure ulcers and infection, he suffered from dehydration, pneumonia, kidney failure, respiratory distress, weight loss and overmedication. The staff failed to regularly evaluate Mr. Guerra’s condition, monitor intake and output of food and urine as specified by his physician, and offer pressure-relieving devices that would help prevent sores.

The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Guerra died on June 19, 2014 as a result of the abuse he endured while in the care of Royal Care Skilled Nursing Center.

“Royal displayed a reckless disregard for the health and safety of their patients,” said Stephen Garcia of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby. “Had the management team cared enough to simply conduct a proper pre-employment screening and maintain the legal requirement of staff necessary to care for their patients, Gilbert Guerra Jr. would likely still be alive.”