Glendora Care Center Sued for Wrongful Death

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Mesa Glen Care Center accusing the facility of extreme elder abuse and negligence. The facility severely neglected one of its patients, Lilia De La Merced, ultimately causing her death.

In August 2014, Ms. De La Merced was admitted into Glendora-based Mesa Glen Care Center because her family could no longer care for her at home. Upon her admission, Ms. De La Merced’s family made it clear to the facility and staff that she had significant health conditions that required special attention, including walking and balance issues, a high risk of falls, dementia, hypertension and diabetes. All of these conditions made her particularly susceptible to falls, significant weight loss and pneumonia. The sole reason Ms. De La Merced was admitted to Mesa Glen Care Center was to address and safeguard against these known dangers. However, rather than providing the required care needed to prevent these risks from occurring, the staff simply ignored all of her needs.

In late 2014, in an effort to cut costs and increase profits, the management company that owned the facility hired a new administrator and staff, firing a large number of the existing employees. Many inexperienced staff members began working at the facility and were not properly equipped or trained to handle patients like Ms. De La Merced. Shortly after the new staff was hired, she suffered several falls at the facility as a result of its negligence.

“Ms. De La Merced’s injuries and horrible treatment were the direct result of the financial policies and practices forced upon the staff by the management,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Her death could have been easily prevented, but the facility chose to focus on their financial gain as opposed to the needs of Ms. De La Merced .”

In the summer of 2015, the staff at the facility lost Ms. De La Merced’s dentures several times and eventually misplaced them permanently. Staff members neither replaced them nor notified her family. The staff further compromised Ms. De La Merced’s health by not altering her diet to softer foods that she could eat without her dentures. One day, Ms. De La Merced’s daughter noticed that her mother was losing a significant amount of weight and brought this to the facility’s attention; however, nothing was done.

One day, Ms. De La Merced was given a piece of toast even though her diet called for softer foods, and was then left unsupervised. Because the facility had still done nothing about replacing Ms. De La Merced’s missing dentures, the toast got caught in her throat causing her to choke and aspirate it, requiring a trip to the emergency room. Her daughter was never given an explanation of what happened or why her mother had been served such a hard food when her diet had supposedly changed. Ms. De La Merced passed away on November 1, 2015, as a result of pneumonia, which was brought on by the choking incident at the facility.