Lawsuit Filed: Blind, Wheelchair-Bound Woman Suffers Unreported Hip Fracture & Severe Ulcers at OC Nursing Facility

Orange County, Calif. — At the time of her admission into The Pavilion at Sunny Hills, a 24-hour skilled nursing facility, Karen Elaine Porter was a 62-year-old wheelchair-bound, legally blind, left-leg amputee with limited mobility rendering her at known high risk for falls and the development of pressure sores. In December 2008, Karen was admitted to The Pavilion at Sunny Hills specifically for special care and assistance with daily activities, including supervision and monitoring to prevent accidents. In June 2017, Porter developed lower extremity blood clots and was sent to a hospital for further testing, where it was discovered that she had suffered a hip fracture at The Pavilion at Sunny Hills which had been, quite literally covered up in a conspiracy of deception by The Pavilion at Sunny Hills. This was truly a troubling revelation as just a month before, Porter’s family had also discovered severe pressure sores on her lower extremities that allegedly had not been reported by the facility as required by law.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against The Pavilion at Sunny Hills for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“In an unfortunate effort to conceal its failure to provide required care, The Pavilion at Sunny Hills allowed Karen to suffer entirely avoidable painful hip fractures and horrendous pressure sores,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “It’s clear the facility was understaffed and undertrained in personnel, fully knowing the risks that came with these deficiencies so as to unlawfully promote its profits, resulting in widespread neglect of Karen and other residents. By exposing the facility’s violation of state and federal regulations, we aim to prevent future residents from being subjected to extreme health and safety hazards.”

Allegations and Background

Upon Karen Elaine Porter’s admission to The Pavilion at Sunny Hills in December 2008, it’s alleged the facility had full knowledge of her medical conditions which made Porter not only particularly susceptible to the development of pressure ulcers, thereby requiring very specific and attentive care to prevent pressure sore formation, but was also aware that Porter was particularly susceptible to the high risk of suffering repeated falls, requiring special care and assistance, including 24-hour supervision and monitoring, assistance with ambulation, the provision of safety and assistance devices to prevent accidents and the implementation of interventions.

The lawsuit states that in June 2017, Porter developed lower extremity blood clots and was sent to a hospital for further testing where it was discovered that she had suffered old hip fractures for which The Pavilion at Sunny Hills allegedly had no explanation. In May 2017, Porter’s family had also discovered severe pressure sores that were open and the size of quarters on her lower extremities. According to the lawsuit, the sores had not been reported by the facility and facility nurses simply concealed these conditions from Porter’s family, physician and legal representative and untruthfully stated that nothing was wrong.

The lawsuit also alleges that The Pavilion at Sunny Hills wrongfully withheld required care to Porter, including leaving her lying in her own feces and urine for extended periods of time, failing to ensure she received adequate hydration and nutrition to stave off infections and skin breakdown and failing to timely react to her emergent conditions, such as the development of entirely preventable and treatable pressure sores and multiple falls and fractures. Throughout Porter’s entire stay, it’s alleged that The Pavilion at Sunny Hills consciously understaffed the facility in both number and training, leading directly to Porter’s extensive injuries.