Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Suffers Horrific Pressure Sores Due to Negligence of Nursing Facility

Oakland, Calif. – Ruby Frazier, an 80-year-old woman suffering from diabetes, arthritis, as well as other significant medical conditions, was admitted to Providence McClure for rehabilitation after hospitalization for a fall and required maximum assistance with activities of daily living, as well as special care and attention to address her high risk for the development and worsening of pressure sores. According to the lawsuit, over the course of her residency, Frazier was constantly found by family left soiled in her feces, lying on surfaces unsuitable for residents at high risk for the development and worsening of pressure ulcers, ridden to her bed and/or chair for prolonged periods, housed in rooms infested with bugs and overwhelmingly fumigated with insecticide poisoning, with her call light unanswered for significant periods, with unexplained bruising and swelling, with medications missing and withheld by facility staff, as well as other wrongfully withheld care. In November 2017, Frazier was transferred to Summit Alta Bates Medical Center where she was diagnosed with severe dehydration, a urinary tract infection and severe pressure ulcers throughout her body.

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Providence McClure for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Ruby’s injuries are the result of alleged prolonged neglect and abuse in Providence McClure,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “We intend to prove that the facility had a practice and pattern of staffing an insufficient number of service personnel, many of whom were not properly trained or qualified to care for the elders and/or dependent adults, whose lives were entrusted to them. The facility must be held responsible for its conscious disregard of the health and safety of Ruby and other residents to prevent further painful and unnecessary injuries.”

Allegations and Background

The lawsuit states that as a direct result of the chronic understaffing at Providence McClure in both number and training, the facility failed to provide Frazier with adequate personal hygiene and instead, repeatedly left her lying in her own feces and urine for extended and unacceptable periods of time, failed to ensure that she received adequate hydration and nutrition to stave off infections and skin breakdown, and failed to timely react to Frazier’s emergent conditions including the development of entirely preventable and treatable pressure ulcers, dehydration, infections and other injuries. It’s alleged Frazier suffered these injuries because facility staff did not have adequate time or the inclination to provide her with the required care, and to document and address emergent conditions.

Further, it’s alleged that the facility was fully aware upon Frazier’s admission to the facility that she was a high risk for skin breakdown and the development and deterioration of pressure sores due to medical conditions. However, the facility’s violations of applicable regulations and standard of care, and conscious disregard for the health and safety of Frazier led directly to her developing a horrific pressure sore that went unnoticed and untreated by the facility to the point that it ate away her skin, fascia and muscle to the bone.

These injuries were entirely preventable had there been sufficient staff on duty to actually implement the protections required by the facility’s own Plan of Care and physician orders and assessments for Frazier. The facility’s apparent “understaffing” and “lack of training” plan was designed as a mechanism to reduce labor costs and predictably resulted in the abuse and neglect of many residents of the facility, and most specifically, Frazier.