Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Suffers Diabetic Coma and Dies at San Diego Nursing Facility

San Diego, Calif. — Marie Antoine, an 83-year-old woman on hospice, was admitted to San Diego Healthcare Center for a short-stay while her daughter was traveling. Upon admission, Antoine suffered from significant medical conditions including dementia and diabetes, and as a result, needed frequent monitoring and assessment of her blood sugar levels, as well as proper care to prevent her from suffering a diabetic coma. Three days following her admission, Antoine was found unresponsive by family at the facility. Antoine was transferred to Kaiser Hospital where she was diagnosed with a diabetic coma, severe dehydration, kidney failure, severe pressure ulcer, as well as other injuries. It’s alleged the facility’s failure to provide Antoine with required medical and custodial care led to her death within five days after admittance to the facility.

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

“Marie’s family placed her in San Diego Healthcare Center’s care to specifically monitor her for symptoms of diabetic coma and put preventions in place to avoid further injuries, and yet mere days into her residency, Marie suffered this exact injury, resulting in her death,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Our lawsuit asserts the facility did nothing to prevent or manage the progressing signs exhibited by Marie consistent with diabetic coma, and even went so far as to conceal her worsening condition. The facility must be held accountable for its negligent staffing practices and sub-standard provision of care to patients.”

Allegations and Background

The lawsuit states that when Antoine was admitted to San Diego Healthcare Center on or about November 12, 2017, the facility was aware of the extent of her medical conditions and understood that if it failed to provide the required care, there was a high probability that Antoine would suffer serious injury and death. Within the days following, it’s alleged the facility knowingly neglected to provide necessary care to Antoine, including failing to monitor the blood sugar levels for extended periods of time, failing to provide medications to manage her insulin levels, failing to reassess her for significant changes of condition and unusual symptoms, failing to provide adequate nutrition and hydration so as to manage her blood sugar levels, and failing to provide prompt medical attention and transfer upon emergency signs and symptoms so as to prevent a diabetic coma.

In an effort to cover up Antoine’s injuries, it’s alleged the facility nurses purposefully concealed these conditions from her family, physician, and legal representative because the staff simply did not have adequate time or the inclination to provide her with the required care, or to document and address her emergent conditions. These injuries were entirely preventable had there been sufficient staff on duty, in both number and competency, to actually implement the protections required by the facility’s own Plan of Care, and physician orders and assessments for Antoine. As a result of the facility’s negligence, Antoine was allowed to suffer a fatal and entirely preventable diabetic coma, leading directly to her wrongful death on or about November 17, 2017.