Lawsuit Filed: Elder Woman Dies After Sustaining Repeated Falls at Residential Care Facility in California

Redlands, Calif. — Eileen Vaughn, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, died after allegedly sustaining repeated falls while residing at Blossom Grove Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in California – a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE). The final fall in June 2016 allegedly resulted in two brain bleeds and a fractured scapula, leading to her death in July 2016.

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Blossom Grove Alzheimer’s Special Care Center alleging elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Tragically, Blossom Grove Alzheimer’s Special Care Center allegedly neglected to provide sufficient staff to properly care for Eileen, which ultimately lead to her death,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “RCFEs cannot legally accept residents who require 24-hour skilled nursing care, which Eileen clearly required. It appears that this negligence cost a woman her life. Unfortunately, this seems to, once again, be an example of putting profits over the needs of elderly people, by accepting a patient as a resident who obviously needs care beyond what the facility is legally able to provide.”

Allegations and Background

In June 2014, Eileen Vaughn moved into the Blossom Grove Alzheimer’s Special Care Center. She suffered from Alzheimer’s, had a prior history of falls, a previous brain bleed, and had undergone hip and knee replacement surgery. These conditions, coupled with her age, also made her a high fall risk.  Even though RCFEs are prohibited from accepting patients who require 24-hour skilled nursing care, they accepted Vaughn into their care with full knowledge of her needs. The lawsuit states that the facility failed to notify Vaughn’s physicians and family members even as her condition changed, thereby engaging in willful non-compliance with state regulations.

It is further alleged that Vaughn’s health began to deteriorate upon admission. Allegations include that Vaughn began suffering from dehydration, insufficient nutrition, repeated staph infections and had lost 25 pounds. The facility was also aware of Vaughn’s propensity to fall, yet allegedly failed to implement any measures that would help prevent her from falling. Not surprisingly, it’s alleged that due to a noticeable lack of competent staff at the facility, Vaughn suffered multiple falls during her stay. Her last fall allegedly caused Vaughn to suffer from two brain bleeds, a fractured scapula and a huge gash on the back of her neck, which required staples.

The lawsuit states that the facility did not have adequate staff – both in training and in number – and accepted Vaughn even though RCFEs cannot legally accept residents who require 24-hour nursing care. These apparent negligent acts, along with multiple omissions and illegal actions, ultimately lead to Vaugh’s death.