Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Retained at Unfit Nursing Home Suffers Severe Injuries

Carmichael, Calif. — Lindy Asch was admitted to Atria Carmichael Oaks – a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) – after completing rehabilitation for knee replacement surgery. By law, these care facilities cannot accept residents who require 24-hour skilled nursing care. However, Atria Carmichael Oaks retained her as a resident knowing full well that Asch required this level of care. Unfortunately, as with many RCFEs, Atria Carmichael Oaks did not have sufficient staff – in number or in training – to provide Asch with the care she required, leading to several falls that resulted in injury.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Atria Carmichael Oaks for elder abuse and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Lindy suffered from ailments that required 24-hour supervision and monitoring, which Atria Carmichael Oaks would not and could not provide as legally mandated by the State of California,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “She suffered from a history of falls and dementia and also had a propensity to wander – all of which the facility was aware of. It appears the facility disregarded her known conditions to engage in a scheme to maximize their own profits.”

Allegations and Background

In February 2016, Asch began to show signs of dementia after her knee surgery. As a result of her high fall risk and the onset of her mental deficiency, Asch was admitted to the facility for assistance with her activities of daily living.

Her admitting conditions included dementia, a propensity to wander, a history of falls and a strong regimen of pain medicines stemming from her surgery. Asch required skilled nursing care, a higher level of care than that which could be lawfully provided at the non-medical RCFE facility – Atria Carmichael Oaks.

The lawsuit alleges that the facility knew that Asch required a high level of care, including 24-7 skilled nursing care, as a result of her fall history and other conditions that made her a continuing fall risk. The facility was also well aware of Asch’s need for care interventions to prevent injury, which was more than what they could provide. Yet, so as to unlawfully promote profits, the facility admitted and retained Asch as a resident, even though in doing so they exposed her to extreme health and safety hazards.

The facility retained Asch even though they had not properly trained their staff in fall risk prevention and failed to provide appropriate staff to prevent further falls. As a result of the facility’s alleged inability to properly care for Asch, she suffered at least six falls.

On July 16, Asch suffered an unwitnessed fall, which was later confirmed to have caused a minor fracture in her pelvic area. Instead of taking immediate action, the lawsuit states that the facility did not notify her family, submit a report or document the fall.

On October 13, Asch fell again, only this time, the fall resulted in a severe hip fracture. The 89-year-old woman, who already suffered from poor health, required further extensive medical treatment, which included surgery, as a result of the fracture.