Lawsuit Filed: Dependent Adult Woman Suffers Fall & Severe Injuries Due to Negligence at Atascadero Senior Care Facility

Atascadero, Calif. – Mary Kravchenko, a dependent adult, was admitted to Danish Care Center because she suffered from significant medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia, a history of strokes, partial blindness, and as a result, was unable to perform activities of daily living and required special care and supervision to address her high risk for falls. In December 2017, Kravchenko suffered a fall after the facility allegedly failed to secure the wheels on her wheelchair in order to address her unassisted attempts to transfer from wheelchair to bed. The facility further neglected to implement a properly functioning alarm on her wheelchair bed. As a result of the wrongful withholding of care, Kravchenko suffered unnecessary and significant pain until found by facility staff on the floor near her bedside. Rather than promptly transferring Kravchenko to care for her injuries following the fall, the facility staff simply placed her back into bed. Then, in an effort to conceal the entirely preventable fall, the facility falsely informed Kravchenko’s family that no transfer was necessary. Finally, on December 24, 2017, Kravchenko was transferred to Twin Cities Hospital’s ICU, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia, a severe urinary tract infection, in septic shock, kidney failure, hypothermia and multiple fractured ribs.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Danish Care Center for dependent abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Danish Care Center was well aware that if they failed to provide Mary with legally required care, supervision and monitoring, she would suffer injury, and yet the facility consciously disregarded this risk, which led to her unnecessary and avoidable injuries and suffering,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Moreover, the facility falsely represented to Mary, her family and the general public that it was sufficiently staffed to be able to meet residents’ needs, and was operating in compliance with all applicable rules, laws and regulations governing the operation of skilled nursing facilities in the State of California. The focus of the facility’s management on their own profit played a direct role in the underfunding and understaffing of the facility, which was a means to reduce labor costs, and predictably and foreseeably, resulted in the prolonged abuse and neglect of many facility residents.”

Allegations and Background

Upon Kravchenko’s admission, it’s alleged the facility had full knowledge, through assessment information, family information, as well as physician notes and orders provided to the facility, that she suffered from significant medical conditions, and therefore required special care and assistance, including 24-hour supervision and monitoring, assistance and monitoring with ambulation and transferring, the provision of safety and assistance devices to prevent accidents, assistance and monitoring with other activities of daily living and the implementation of interventions to prevent further falls. Despite this knowledge, the facility failed to adequately assess, generate and implement an adequate care plan to prevent Kravchenko from suffering further falls and injury.

According to the lawsuit, the facility’s staff was also aware of the understaffing of the facility, in both number and training, and the relationship between understaffing and substandard provision of care to patients, including Kravchenko. This ongoing negligence has regularly been issued deficiencies by the State of California’s Department of Health Services. Therefore, it’s clear facility staff meaningfully disregarded the issues, even though they knew the understaffing could, would and did lead to unnecessary injuries to residents.

In fact, pursuant to the last filing submitted by the facility with the State of California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) in the reporting period through December 31, 2016, the facility either siphoned $323,783 in payments to or for “Administrative Services” as it relates to the facility managing the facility itself, or, and as is more likely the case, the facility paid management $323,783 for the provision of limited to no services. These members, as executives, managing agents and/or owners of the facility, were focused on unlawfully increasing the earnings in the operation of the facility as opposed to providing the legally mandated minimum care to be provided to elder and/or infirm residents in their skilled nursing facilities, including Kravchenko.