Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Dies at Atascadero Nursing Facility

Atascadero, Calif.— Gabrielle Cohoon was placed in Country Care Convalescent Hospital, a 24-hour skilled nursing facility, for rehabilitation following a hip surgery. Unfortunately, it’s alleged that Country Care Convalescent Hospital did not provide the necessary staff – in number or in training – to keep her safe from further injuries, resulting in her eventual death.

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Country Care Convalescent Hospital for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Gabrielle’s injuries should not, and in our judgment would not, have occurred had Country Care Convalescent Hospital adhered to applicable rules, laws and regulations, as well as the acceptable standards of practice governing the operation of a nursing facility, all put in place to ensure the health and safety of elder and infirm citizens of the State of California such as Gabrielle,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Sadly, her severe wounds were the knowing and predictable result of insufficient wound care being provided to her by the facility, and unfortunately, this all led to Gabrielle’s untimely death.”

Allegations & Background

In September 2014, Cohoon fell at home, resulting in a fractured right hip which required surgery. After her surgery, she became a resident at Country Care Convalescent Hospital for rehabilitation. Upon her admission, Cohoon required assistance with her activities of daily living, and her condition rendered her highly susceptible to the development of pressure sores.

The lawsuit alleges that rather than providing Cohoon with the required care to prevent the formation and worsening of pressure sores, which included the use of pressure-reducing devices, providing adequate and proper assistance with hygiene, and ensuring she was repositioned, the facility failed to implement any interventions to ensure Cohoon’s health and safety remained satisfactory.

Cohoon’s family often questioned the staff about her weight loss and deterioration. The lawsuit states that instead of addressing her family’s concerns, the facility ignored their requests therefore jeopardizing Cahoon’s health. The lawsuit also states that rather than feeding Cohoon properly, the staff was eating her food.

It appears that as Cohoon’s condition deteriorated, she became psychotic. Once again, her family informed the facility’s staff of this and asked to speak with her physician, and in order to minimize their concern, the facility allegedly stated that residents can become anxious and have a nervous breakdown, causing these types of psychotic episodes.

Later, it was revealed to Cohoon’s family that she had developed a pressure sore on her tailbone. When her husband investigated further, it had already become so severe and infected that it progressed to Stage III or IV.

The neglect and abuse became so unbearable that Cohoon was rushed to the hospital for breathing trouble. There she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, dehydration and malnutrition. The lawsuit also states that Coohon’s condition was so bad that even the physician made a remark about the poor conditions in these elderly facilities.

Cohoon was placed on antibiotics and hydration, but her health had declined so severely that she passed away on November 20, 2014.