Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Suffers Fall and Fractures Hip at Fullerton Nursing Facility

Los Angeles, Calif. — After being treated at a medical center, 86-year-old Elizabeth Romano was transferred to Windsor Gardens Care Center of Fullerton for rehabilitation. Upon being admitted, she weighed 115 pounds and was wheelchair-bound rendering her a known high fall risk resident. The complaint alleges that Windsor Gardens did not provide Romano with proper supervision or fall prevention measures for which she was admitted into their facility, allowing Elizabeth to suffer the very fall Windsor was to protect her from, suffering and resulting in a fractured hip. During hip surgery, it appears that surgeons also discovered that Elizabeth was suffering from a previously undisclosed pressure sore, and by June 2016, she weighed just 95 pounds.

Garcia, Artigliere, Medby & Faulkner filed a lawsuit against Windsor Gardens Care Center of Fullerton for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“It’s clear from Elizabeth’s rapid decline that the conditions at Windsor Gardens were not just lacking, but downright abusive,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “She is lucky that her family recognized that Windsor Gardens was severely understaffed and arranged for Elizabeth to be transferred to another facility. Instead of providing Elizabeth with the care she paid for, the facility charged top dollar and then failed to hire and retain sufficient and competent staff to provide legally required care to Elizabeth. Her fall and resulting injuries are the predictable result of the facility’s focus on profits over the needs of the residents. ”

Allegations and Background

Prior to being admitted to Windsor Gardens, Romano had an extensive medical history, including: deafness since birth, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and recurrent urinary tract infections.

After undergoing a blood transfusion and being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, Romano was transferred to Windsor Gardens for rehabilitation in January 2016. At the time of her admission, she weighed 115 pounds, could not make her needs known and was wheelchair-bound. The facility was aware of Romano’s various medical conditions, including that she was a high fall risk. Yet, despite fall prevention being a critical part of Romano’s care plan, she allegedly fell and fractured her right hip during her stay at the facility. The lawsuit states that the fall was a direct result of the facility’s staff failing to provide her with 24-hour supervision and other standard interventions necessary to prevent falls.

Following her fall, Romano was transferred to a medical center for surgery to repair the hip fracture. While at the hospital, her caregivers discovered that Romano also had a completely preventable pressure sore. After a week at the hospital Romano was brought back to Windsor Gardens, where her condition only deteriorated.

It’s apparent that there were not enough properly trained staff members to give Romano the level of care she was entitled to, and in June 2016, Romano’s son removed her from Windsor Gardens and found space for her at another rehabilitation facility. By the time Romano left Windsor Gardens, she had lost 20 pounds. Since leaving Windsor Gardens, Romano has regained all the functions she lost while she was a patient there, and is at a healthier weight of 130 pounds.