Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Develops Severe Pressure Sores Due to Upland Nursing Facility’s Negligence; Facility Cited by Department of Public Health

Upland, Calif. — Kenneth Banks, a 75-year-old Marine veteran, was admitted to Upland Rehabilitation & Care Center after suffering a fall at home and being treated at Montclair Hospital for upper back abrasions, a Stage II pressure ulcer and other medical conditions. It’s alleged that during Banks’ residency, the facility failed to provide proper medical and/or custodial care, resulting in severe and avoidable Stage III pressure ulcers, deep tissue injuries and other injuries. The lawsuit asserts that this negligence was due to the facility being chronically understaffed in terms of the number and competence of its personnel who were incapable of providing the level of basic care needed to address Banks’ known conditions. Just 13 days after being admitted, Banks’ daughter discharged her father to Brookside Healthcare Center for proper treatment.

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Upland Rehabilitation & Care Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Based on the information presently available, it reasonably appears that Upland Rehabilitation & Care Center integrated a scheme to limit staffing costs in the facility to maximize profit at the expense of the health and safety of residents like Kenneth,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Through such cost limitations, a facility systematically fails to have the resources or the staff on hand to which is lawfully required to meet the needs of the elderly residents of the facility. And in fact, Upland Rehabilitation & Care Center has been repeatedly issued deficiencies by the Department of Public Health of the State of California for failures to provide patient care they are required to perform as a licensed healthcare facility. The facility and its management companies have been explicitly aware of the ongoing dysfunction as the facility repeatedly signed a plan of correction each time a DPH investigation resulted in a citation. It’s clear the facility simply moved forward with a scheme to warehouse as many residents as possible to further their lucrative business model.”

Allegations and Background

It’s alleged that when Banks was admitted to Upland Rehabilitation & Care Center on October 25, 2017, the facility was aware of his conditions, including multiple sclerosis, sepsis, walking difficulty, generalized weakness, dysphagia, acute kidney failure, rhabdomyolysis and corresponding high risk for pressure sore development and worsening. In fact, the day after Banks’ admission, LVN Finney documented these conditions in the facility “Progress Notes” and hours later, LVN Villasenor documented his basic level needs, including his dependence on two-person extensive assistance with transfers and bed mobility, set-up assistance with eating and one-person extensive assist with toileting. Notwithstanding full and advance knowledge of Banks’ needs and dependence upon admission, the lawsuit states the facility wrongfully withheld necessary and required care.

Evidencing the facility’s reckless disregard of Banks’ rights and needs, on one occasion facility staff spilled the urine in Banks’ catheter bag all over the floor. Instead of cleaning it up, facility staff walked in it. Banks developed Clostridium difficile. On another occasion, Banks was left in his wheelchair for hours. On yet another occasion, Bank’s daughter was compelled to request the facility to provide him with IV fluids.

When Banks’ daughter discharged him to Brookside Healthcare Center on November 7, 2017, skin assessments revealed numerous pressure ulcers on his coccyx; lower, mid and upper back; right lateral malleolus deep tissue injury; left lateral heel deep tissue injury and a dry scab on top of his scalp.

According to the lawsuit, the facility misrepresented to Banks and the general public that the facility was sufficiently staffed to be able to meet Banks’ needs, and it operated in compliance with all applicable rules, laws and regulations governing the operation of skilled nursing facilities in California. Additionally, it’s alleged the facility and its management companies enacted, established and implemented a financial plan and scheme which led to the facility being understaffed, in both number and training, by way of imposing financial limitations on the facility which clearly did not allow for sufficient resources to be provided to Banks.