Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Suffers Brain Bleed & Back Fracture Due to Negligence at San Diego Nursing Facility

San Diego, Calif. – Socorro Tayoto, an elderly woman with dementia, was taken to UC San Diego Hospital for UTI and sepsis, and after several weeks of treatment, was transferred to Point Loma Post Acute Center because her family could no longer care for her at home. According to the lawsuit, the facility was clearly advised that Tayoto had a propensity to wander despite her limited mobility, was a high risk for falls and, therefore, required 24-hour supervision and monitoring. It’s alleged the facility failed to create and implement proper care plans to prevent Tayoto from falling and, as a result, she suffered a brain bleed and low back compression fracture due to entirely preventable falls, urinary tract infections, as well as other injuries during her residency. Tayoto was eventually transferred to UC San Diego Hospital on Mach 27, 2018 and passed away on March 30, 2018 after being determined unsuitable for surgery.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Point Loma Post Acute Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“As is alleged in the Complaint, from the moment Socorro entered the facility, the staff knew she was at high risk of injury, yet they failed to provide the proper care and supervision, or put in place the safeguards needed to keep her safe,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “The Complaint clearly and specifically alleges that this occurred as the result of a plot devised and executed by facility management and its true operators, including Shlomo Rechnitz and others. The fact is that the type of improper money grabbing conduct alleged of in the Complaint leads to an awful lot of money for self-proclaimed billionaire nursing operators by failing to provide required and promised services. When a facility and its billionaire operator put profits before patient care, residents such as Socorro suffered needless pain and injury.”

Allegations and Background

Defendants Shlomo Rechnitz; Brius, LLC; Rockport Administrative Services, LLC; and Boardwalk Financial Services, LLC are the owners, operators, parent company and/or management company, and actively controlled Point Loma Rehabilitation Center, LLC (dba Point Loma Post Acute Center).

According to the lawsuit, when Tayoto entered Point Loma Post Acute Center, facility staff was well aware from assessment information, family information and physician notes and orders that she suffered from conditions that made her particularly vulnerable to falls and resulting injuries. The conditions included dementia and a history of infections, insulin dependence due to diabetes, weakness in her left side caused by strokes, chronic kidney disease, and heart disease that had required triple bypass surgery.

At the time she was admitted in September 2015, the facility performed an “activities of daily living” assessment. The assessment showed that Tayoto needed extensive assistance with bathing, dressing, hygiene, toileting, transferring, ambulating and bed mobility.

The lawsuit alleges that in spite of this knowledge, the facility failed to put in place the proper care and monitoring plans to prevent Tayoto from falling. In fact, the day following her admission, facility staff found Tayoto on the bathroom floor. Two days later, she was again found on the floor. It’s alleged that the falls continued unabated throughout Tayoto’s residency and that Tayoto’s family did not know she was falling until told by Tayoto’s roommate. When confronted by the family, the facility assured them something would be done to prevent further falls. Nothing was ever done, however, and the alleged wrongful withholding of care continued. Finally, Tayoto suffered a fall that resulted in a low back compression fracture. As a result of the fracture, Tayoto lost her ability to walk.

In January 2017, Tayoto fell again. In August 2017, the facility performed two fall risk assessments of Tayoto, which concluded she was at high risk of falling. In spite of these assessments, her safety needs continued to be ignored. Later that month, she fell yet again. The facility performed another assessment in September that again showed Tayoto was at high risk of falling, but the lawsuit alleges her safety needs were still ignored. She fell again in December 2017.

The substandard care Tayoto endured at the facility was not limited to falls, according to the lawsuit. To prevent bed sores, her family had to routinely ensure that she was turned, repositioned and sitting up in her wheelchair. Tayoto’s calls to use the bathroom were often left unanswered and facility staff did not clean her catheter, which resulted in hospital stays for urinary tract infections. In January 2018, Tayoto’s daughter refused further use of a catheter for her mother. By this time, Tayoto had been given the antibiotic Bactrim several times for urinary tract infections, but tests showed kidney injury related to its use. A month later, Tayoto suffered another infection and Bactrim was given to her in blatant disregard of Tayoto’s daughter’s orders.

On February 7, 2018, Tayoto suffered another unwitnessed fall. Later that month, she was placed on hospice care by the facility. On March 27, 2018 she was transferred to UC San Diego Hospital by the facility, which noted facial drooping with slurred speech, nausea and vomiting in its assessment report. Three days later, on March 30, 2018, Tayoto died.

The suit alleges that the injuries suffered by Tayoto while at the facility were a result of the facility’s practice of understaffing and hiring staff not properly trained to care for the elderly. The understaffing and lack of training was designed as a mechanism to reduce labor costs and predictably, resulted in the abuse and neglect of Tayoto and other facility residents.