Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man with Dementia Wanders from Nursing Facility Unnoticed and Suffers Significant Injuries
Los Angeles, Calif. – Alejo Valente, a 64-year-old wheelchair bound man with dementia, was admitted to Lakeview Terrace, a 24-hour skilled nursing facility, because he was at a high risk for falls and wandering due to significant medical conditions. Despite this knowledge for which Valente was a resident at Lakeview Terrace, within days following his admission, Valente was so totally ignored by Lakeview Terrace that they simply lost him and his absence went unnoticed until his family came to visit. Approximately four days later, Valente was found miles from the facility, and was taken to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with significant injuries.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Lakeview Terrace for dependent adult abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“It’s evident Lakeview Terrace operates at a dangerously low staff level and uses underqualified staff for the level of care promised by the facility, or Alejo would not have been able to so easily wander off unnoticed for several days,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “This was a completely avoidable situation and it’s scary to think what further injuries may have occurred had Alejo’s family not paid a visit that evening and prompted the search. We aim to bring the facility’s negligent hiring and training practices to light so that future residents aren’t unnecessarily put in harm’s way.”
Allegations and Background
On or about October 12, 2017, Lakeview Terrace allegedly accepted Valente as a resident with full knowledge of his past medical history, including multiple falls with head trauma, history of strokes and seizures with paralysis and swallowing difficulties necessitating insertion of a feeding tube. It’s also asserted the facility knew Valente suffered from significant cognitive impairments which left him with poor safety awareness and judgment, as well as disorientation as to people and his whereabouts if left unsupervised.
On October 15, 2017, after staff escorted Valente’s family throughout the facility in search of him to no avail, the family finally requested for the police department to be contacted. When police arrived, the facility could not provide any documentation from Valente’s admittance for police officers to identify him from other males in Los Angeles County.
Valente was ultimately found in Redondo Beach with injuries that were allegedly a direct failure of the facility to create and implement a proper care plan to prevent him from further elopements and protection from health hazards.