Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Dies Due to Extensive Injuries Suffered at Rehabilitation Center
Los Angeles, Calif. — Following a fall which left him nearly brain dead, 83-year-old Guillermo Espinosa was admitted to Imperial Heights Healthcare & Wellness Centre for rehabilitation after spending nearly a month in a coma and for the express purpose of putting in place interventions to prevent further deadly falls. As the result of intensive effort at the time of his admission into Imperial Espinosa was once again able to walk with a walker and able to recognize family and converse. Simply stated, rather than providing Espinosa with the care he required and paid for, Imperial acted in violation of applicable rules, laws and regulations and withheld the very care for which they were significantly paid and as the predictable result of this failure of care, Espinosa suffered additional and preventable falls at Imperial that caused severe cognitive decline and impairment, which then led to preventable pressure ulcers and a blood infection that required amputation of both legs. Espinosa passed away in October 2017 as a result of the facility’s wrongful withholding of care.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Imperial Heights Healthcare & Wellness Centre for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“Guillermo was specifically transferred to Imperial Heights Healthcare & Wellness Centre to rehabilitate and prevent additional falls; instead it’s clear the facility directly exacerbated his injuries through its blatant and gross misconduct,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Even more appalling, the facility never informed Guillermo’s family or physician about his horrific pressure sores and harmful falls, and even went so far as to conceal its failure by hiding specific injuries. Based on what we have seen, the facility’s management preferred to unlawfully employ unfit staff to cut costs at the expense of Guillermo and other residents’ health and safety.”
Allegations and Background
Espinosa entered Imperial Heights Healthcare & Wellness Centre in December 2016 with a history of falls and arthritis, which the lawsuit contends the facility was aware of when it agreed to take him in as a resident.
Within the month following Espinosa’s admission, he suffered multiple falls, including one unwitnessed fall resulting in a laceration on the back of his head. Within two months following admission, he was diagnosed with dementia, and had daily complaints of constant lethargy and requests to stay in bed throughout the day.
By August 2017, Espinosa had a history of pressure ulcers in the buttock area and newly acquired ulcers on both feet. The lawsuit states that the sores were concealed by facility staff using excessive bandaging, which was not removed until the ulcers became infected and began emitting an odor. The neglect was so pervasive that one of the foot ulcers exposed bone covered with a dark-green substance.
In October 2017, Espinosa was transferred to Pioneers Memorial Hospital where his family was informed he had developed a blood infection requiring amputation of both legs. Espinosa could not overcome the injuries sustained at Imperial Heights Healthcare & Wellness Centre and passed away later that month.