Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Falls and Dies at Orange County Nursing Facility

Orange County, Calif. — Maria De Lourdes Flores Huerta, a 72-year-old woman who required twice weekly dialysis was admitted to Carehouse Healthcare Center in March 2017. One of the primary reasons Huerta was entrusted to the care of Carehouse Healthcare Center was to help her in her weakened state and to prevent her from the deadly falls which are prevalent in elders. Carehouse Healthcare Center was fully aware that Huerta suffered from diabetes, lower extremity amputations and blindness, rendering her a high risk for falls. However, it’s alleged that rather than providing Huerta with the care Carehouse Healthcare Center promised, and was well paid for, the facility flat out failed to protect Huerta from suffering a fall, resulting in head trauma, multiple dislocated extremities and back pain. The facility also allegedly delayed further assessment of Huerta’s condition after the fall, ultimately leading to her death.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Carehouse Healthcare Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“As the result of the facility’s decision to withhold the proper care and treatment that Maria desperately needed, she suffered agonizing injuries, preventable suffering and unnecessary pain before her untimely death,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Based on what we know, it’s apparent that instead of providing her with the daily assistance she needed and paid good money for, Maria was grossly shortchanged. Once again, it appears a vulnerable victim has paid the ultimate price for a business more concerned with profits than providing sufficient patient care.”

Allegations and Background

It’s alleged that upon Huerta’s admission to the facility in March 2017, Carehouse Healthcare Center’s staff were well aware through assessment information, family information and physician notes that Huerta required dialysis treatment at least twice per week, and suffered from blindness and lower extremity amputations. According to the lawsuit, Huerta also had a history of falls and a propensity to wander; therefore, Huerta required special care, including 24-hour supervision, assistance with ambulation and the implementation of interventions to prevent further falls.

A few months later in September 2017, it’s alleged that Carehouse Healthcare Center’s negligence led to Huerta’s fall at the facility, resulting in head trauma, multiple dislocated extremities and ongoing back pain. Moreover, the lawsuit states that the facility concealed the extent of Huerta’s injuries from her family and declined their request to transfer Huerta to a hospital for further evaluation.

Over the course of the five days following Huerta’s fall, her health rapidly declined, and she suffered a stroke at Carehouse Healthcare Center that left her completely paralyzed. She was transferred to Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she was diagnosed with a severe blood infection, multiple seizures and whole-body paralysis.

The lawsuit alleges that Huerta passed away from head injuries less than two weeks after the facility’s negligence allowed her to suffer a fall.