Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Suffers Fall Resulting in Fractured Legs

Bakersfield, Calif. – Suffering from cerebral palsy that rendered her immobile, Sally Eighmy was admitted to Golden Living Center – Bakersfield for long-term care to alleviate the burden on her family. Due to her medical conditions, Eighmy was a high risk for pressure sores, and required assistance with eating, grooming and other activities of daily living. According to the complaint, Golden Living Center warranted that they were sufficiently staffed and equipped with the resources to manage Eighmy’s care, yet what followed were months of repeated negligence and abuse. The facility’s failure to properly address and treat her worsening condition resulted in the development of a pressure sore, and furthermore, their lack of apparent care resulted in the fracture of both of Eighmy’s legs.

Garcia, Artigliere, Medby & Faulkner filed a lawsuit against Golden Living Center – Bakersfield for elder abuse.

“It is our opinion that these horrific injuries to Sally would not have occurred had Golden Living Center – Bakersfield adhered to applicable rules, laws and regulations, as well as the acceptable standard of practice governing the operation of a skilled nursing facility,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Instead, it appears from the facts as presently known that Golden Living Center failed to provide Sally with the care she paid for. Simply stated, Golden Living Center charged top dollar for care and then failed to hire and retain sufficient and competent staff consistent with California regulations enacted to protect the health and safety of elders such as Sally.”

Allegations and Background

In early 2016, Eighmy was admitted to Golden Living Center – Bakersfield with cerebral palsy, which confined her to a bed and wheelchair, making her a high risk for blood clots, skin breakdown and pressure sores.

The lawsuit alleges that the facility was aware of Eighmy’s conditions; however, they failed to provide proper care and attention, including failure to reposition her body every two hours, make sure she was clean and dry from feces, and ensuring proper hydration.

In February 2017, the lawsuit alleges that Eighmy developed a pressure sore that was so severe that staff members allegedly instructed her not to get up. Furthermore, when facility staff cleaned Eighmy’s sore, they used unreasonable force, causing unnecessary pain and even worsening the sore. The staff then allegedly threatened Eighmy about notifying her family of the improper care, and out of fear of retaliation, she hid Golden Living Center’s abusive practices from her family.

The lawsuit states that in the months that followed, Eighmy’s conditions declined, including the worsening of her pressure sore and pneumonia. In April 2017, the lawsuit alleges that facility staff fractured both of Eighmy’s legs while changing her bedsheets with unnecessarily aggressive force. Eighmy was transferred to a hospital and received medical braces on both legs after it was determined she couldn’t receive surgery because of her medical conditions.

Furthermore, it’s alleged that the facility administered unnecessary drugs for reasons other than to treat Eighmy’s symptoms, such as sedating and chemically restraining her.

Without a physician’s order, the staff took her off her blood thinners and gave her pain medications, which rendered Eighmy constantly drugged up and sleeping, resulting in a decline in cognitive function and unexplained swelling in both legs.