Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Breaks Both Hips in Two Separate Falls Due to Anaheim Nursing Home’s Negligence; Staff Hides Falls from Family, Delaying Medical Treatment
Anaheim, Calif. — Esraeil Badgarsarian, a 93-year-old man with dementia, was admitted to Leisure Court Nursing Center, a skilled nursing facility, for custodial care in 2016. It’s alleged that during his residency, Badgarsarian suffered two entirely preventable falls due to staff negligence. According to the Complaint, both falls resulted in hip fractures that were left untreated after facility staff failed to inform his doctor or family about the falls and instead, tried to cover them up. On both occasions, Badgarsarian was only taken to the hospital after his family noticed his severe pain. As a result of the scope and severity of the recurrent neglect and resulting injuries suffered by Badgarsarian, he had to undergo two hip replacement surgeries and his physical health has continued to deteriorate.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Leisure Court Nursing Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“Esraeil’s family entrusted his well-being to the facility, whose operators represented that they could meet his care needs. Instead, our Complaint alleges that over the course of his residency, the facility systematically and continuously ignored Esraeil’s known needs by failing to employ an adequate number of qualified personnel to carry out all of the functions of the facility, and sadly, he paid the price for their deceit,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “It appears that the main motivation of Leisure Court Nursing Center’s operators is to make money at the expense of their elderly and infirm residents. In an environment where resources to care for residents are instead diverted into the facility owners’ and managers’ pockets, it’s almost inevitable that vulnerable elders like Esraeil will be injured.”
Allegations and Background
On or about March 16, 2016, Badgarsarian entered Leisure Court Nursing Center for custodial care because his family could no longer care for him at home. Upon admittance to the facility, he suffered from dementia with sundowners, which significantly impaired his vision and left him unable to communicate his needs, and episodically agitated and combative. He was dependent upon assistive devices for mobility and required assistance with other activities of daily living. Due to Badgarsarian’s conditions and associated needs, he was at high risk for falls and resulting injuries.
The lawsuit alleges that during Badgarsarian’s residency from September 2018 through February 2019, the facility failed to provide the special care and services he required to protect him from falling, including 24-hour monitoring, assistance with transferring and mobility, and mechanical lifting devices and other approved handling devices, among other needs. It further alleges that by about September 2018, the facility operators were fully aware through assessment information, observations and physicians’ instructions and orders that Badgarsarian required this special care and assistance to address his already compromised condition, and to ensure he didn’t suffer falls and other preventable accidents. Indeed, in June 2018, the facility had initiated a care plan entitled “Risk for Falls” for Badgarsarian, but it was disregarded by facility staff.
Predictably, after a series of near miss falls and actual falls, Badgarsarian suffered a major fall after facility staff left him unattended. It would later be discovered that he had fractured his left hip. Rather than notify his physician and family about the incident, the facility fraudulently concealed the fall as well as the misconduct of facility staff that led to the fall, the lawsuit alleges.
In September 2018, Badgarsarian complained of severe leg pain to his family. By this time, the pain was so unbearable that he was unable to participate in physical therapy. Upon the family’s request, the facility finally performed an X-ray that showed Badgarsarian had a fractured left hip. This was the first time his family learned of any changes to Badgarsarian’s condition. When they asked the facility how the injury occurred, the facility nursing staff said they were still investigating.
Badgarsarian was taken to West Anaheim Medical Center where he underwent surgery to replace his fractured hip. He was then readmitted to the facility.
The lawsuit alleges that upon his readmission, the facility operators knew that Badgarsarian required a level of care beyond what the facility’s staff and resources could provide. In spite of this knowledge, the facility readmitted him in disregard of his safety and well-being.
Not surprisingly, within months of readmission, Badgarsarian fell again and fractured his right hip. Incredibly, the facility again fraudulently withheld this information from his doctor and family, the lawsuit alleges.
Around February 18, 2019, the facility finally informed his family about the fall-related right hip fracture. When asked how it happened, facility staff again said they were still investigating, according to the lawsuit. Badgarsarian was transferred to West Anaheim Medical Center where he underwent another hip replacement procedure.
After his second hip replacement, Badgarsarian did not return to the facility. Despite his advanced age and conditions at the time of his admission there, his quality of life was greatly impacted by the lack of adequate medical care and interventions he received. The abuse and neglect caused unnecessary and prolonged suffering for both Badgarsarian and his family, the lawsuit alleges.