Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Dies as a Result of Brea Nursing Facility’s Negligence

Brea, Calif. — Walter White was transferred to Spring Valley Post Acute, a 24-hour nursing facility, specially to receive skilled care to prevent him from developing painful pressure sores. Despite being aware of White’s medical needs and history, the lawsuit alleges that Spring Valley Post Acute failed to provide White with sufficient care, resulting in avoidable pressure sores, dehydration and recurrent urinary tract infections. Less than two months after being transferred to Spring Valley Post Acute, White was allegedly rushed to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with dehydration, a urinary tract infection, sepsis, aspiration pneumonia, acute renal failure and respiratory failure. He died a day later.

Garcia, Artigliere, Medby & Faulkner filed a lawsuit against Spring Valley Post Acute for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Upon Walter’s admission, Spring Valley Post Acute, was well aware of Walter’s risk of developing pressure sores, in fact that is why good money was paid to the facility,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Based on what we have seen so far, it appears that the facility intentionally understaffed its facility and hired underqualified staff as a cost-saving strategy, and as a result of the facility’s alleged negligence, Walter succumbed to his injuries. It certainly appears from available evidence that Spring Valley Post Acute unlawfully retained Walter to maximize their own profits, and in doing so, they exposed Walter to extreme health and safety hazards, resulting in his tragic death. This is especially troubling as this facility is a repeat offender and we have been forced to bring a number of actions against them to attempt to correct their behavior. Unfortunately, they apparently see this all as the price of doing business in the deficient manner we see from Spring Valley Post Acute.”

Allegations and Background

When White was transferred to Spring Valley Post Acute in November 2016, the facility was specifically warned that he was at a high risk of developing pressure sores. However, the lawsuit states that the facility’s staff failed to ensure that White was turned and repositioned every two hours, and as a result, he developed painful sores on his back, buttocks and legs, some of which were open, contained pus and had black skin around the edges. When White’s family asked for an explanation, it’s alleged that the Spring Valley Post Acute staff said they did not know where the sores came from.

In addition to the pressure sores, the lawsuit alleges that White was dehydrated and had recurrent urinary tract infections during his short time at Spring Valley Post Acute. He was sent to the hospital multiple times to be treated for these preventable conditions.

On December 20, 2016, White was rushed to the emergency room a final time, where he was allegedly diagnosed with dehydration, a urinary tract infection, sepsis, aspiration pneumonia, acute renal failure and respiratory failure. Although White received CPR and other emergency care, he died a day later.

The alleged lack of care by Spring Valley Post Acute continued even after his death. The facility was apparently uncooperative when the mortuary attempted to have White’s death certificate signed, and when his daughter called about the matter, she was told by a staff member that they didn’t have time to deal with it.

The lawsuit alleges that Spring Valley Post Acute’s failure to hire sufficient staff was a deliberate strategy to cut labor costs. The facility’s hiring budget was clearly not enough to provide residents with proper care, yet the administration took no action to resolve these issues.