Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Man Suffers Preventable Fall Due to Negligence at Victorville Nursing Facility

Victorville, Calif. – Raul Uranga, an 80-year-old male, was admitted to Spring Valley Post Acute, a rehabilitation center, after being hospitalized for several weeks at Loma Linda Hospital for an infection. Upon admission to the facility, Uranga suffered from mild dementia, complete immobility, urinary incontinence requiring catheterization and other conditions that rendered him a high risk for falls and pressure sores. Notwithstanding this knowledge, it’s alleged that during his time at the Spring Valley Post Acute, Uranga suffered from an entirely preventable fall that caused horrific tears to his penis and subsequently resulted in a penile infection, severe pressure sores on Uranga’s coccyx area, weight loss of 50 lbs. in one month and other injuries.

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

“Based on what we have seen so far, it appears that Spring Valley Post Acute intentionally understaffed its facility and hired underqualified staff as a cost-saving strategy, and as a result of the facility’s alleged negligence, Raul suffered tragic and preventable injuries,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “According to the evidence we’ve uncovered, Spring Valley Post Acute unlawfully retained Raul to maximize their own profits, and in doing so, they exposed Raul to extreme health and safety hazards. This is especially troubling as Spring Valley Post Acute is a repeat offender and our firm has been forced to bring a number of actions against the facility to attempt to correct their behavior. Unfortunately, the facility’s staff apparently sees this all as the price of doing business in the deficient manner we see from Spring Valley Post Acute.”

Allegations and Background

Upon Uranga’s admission, it’s alleged the facility was well aware, through assessment information, family information and physician notes and orders, that Uranga suffered from a recent stroke, leaving him entirely paralyzed. Due to his extensive medical conditions, Uranga required special care and assistance, including 24-hour supervision and monitoring, assistance and monitoring with ambulation and transferring, the provision of safety and assistance devices to prevent accidents, assistance and monitoring with other activities of daily living and the implementation of interventions to prevent further falls and subsequent injury.

According to the lawsuit, within one month after admission, Uranga suffered a fall after facility staff stood him on his feet despite his complete immobility. The fall caused Uranga’s urinary catheter to rip his penis, and following the fall, Uranga complained of extreme pain. His wife reported the incident to Director Bollinger and asked him to help her husband. Director Bollinger allegedly declined, stating that Uranga was “a strong guy” and “would be alright.” Several days after Uranga’s fall without being provided necessary care, Uranga was found by his wife complaining again about his penile injuries and burning and pain in his coccyx area. By this time, Uranga was in diapers.

Uranga was later transferred from Spring Valley Post Acute to St. Mary’s Hospital due to an infection that required isolation precautions and several weeks of antibiotics. Upon arrival from the facility, Uranga’s wife was informed by a physician that feces had infected Uranga’s penile wound. She was further informed of a severe wound “about to pop” on Uranga’s buttocks area.

Spring Valley Post Acute was well aware that if they failed to provide Uranga with legally required care, there was a high probability that he would suffer injury, and yet, the facility’s staff consciously disregarded this risk, leading directly to Uranga’s injuries.