Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Suffers Multiple Falls, Escapes and Dies at Napa Facility

Napa, Calif. – Charles Smith, an elderly man, was admitted to Napa Valley Care Center nursing home for rehabilitation and supervision for falls. Unfortunately, rather than providing Smith with the care he paid for, Napa Valley Care Center’s staff meaningfully ignored his needs allowing him to suffer the very falls Napa Valley was paid to prevent. Moreover, Napa Valley Care Center’s staff paid so little care to Smith so as to literally lose him, allowing him to wander off late one winter night without a shirt; he was later found with wounds and bruising all over his body and was sent to Queen of the Valley hospital, where he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection and severe dehydration. Smith was released back to the facility the following day, where he suffered from additional falls that predictably led to his death.

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

“This is not the first lawsuit we have filed against this chain, in fact there are many reflecting a completely poor facility providing abysmal care to its residents in an apparent lust for profit. From what I have seen over and over again, it appears that Napa Valley Care Center’s objective was to unlawfully limit costs and maximize profits at the expense of the health and safety of residents like Charles,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Based on what we know now, the facility failed to provide the resources or the staff necessary to provide the care that Charles required. As the result of their profit-driven plan, Charles lost his life. This is especially troubling as this facility is a repeat offender and we have been forced to bring a number of actions against them in an attempt to correct their behavior. Unfortunately, it appears that the facility’s staff sees this all as the price of doing business.”

Allegations and Background

The lawsuit states that Smith was admitted to Napa Valley Care Center in December 2016 for rehabilitation after suffering from a fall that resulted in a concussion requiring hospitalization. Prior to his admittance, the facility was allegedly aware that Smith was a high fall risk; however, over the course of his stay, Smith suffered from several falls at the facility, resulting in lacerations all over his body. To make matters worse, the lawsuit states that the facility concealed the falls from Smith’s family, and only disclosed the information after they inquired about Smith’s head wounds.

According to the lawsuit, the facility staff’s negligence also allowed Smith to wander away from the facility one winter night without a shirt, and was not found and returned to the facility until about 2 AM. Upon his return to Napa Valley Care Center, Smith was allegedly found with wounds and bruising all over his body and was sent to Queen of the Valley hospital, where he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection and severe dehydration.

The lawsuit states that Smith was released to Napa Valley Care Center the following day, and predictably suffered from additional falls, including one in January 2017 that resulted in a significant hematoma covering his body. On January 25, 2017, just days after his fall, Smith’s family insisted that he be sent to Queen of the Valley hospital after the facility had allegedly withheld required medical care for days.

At the hospital, Smith was diagnosed with intracranial bleeding, leading to excessively low blood oxygen levels, and later died.