Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Suffers Multiple Falls and Dies at Sonoma Residential Care Facility

Sonoma County, Calif. – Edytha Ryan, an elderly woman suffering from dementia and a history of falls, entered Serenity Villa, a residential care facility for the elderly, in January 2017 to be provided with the care required to prevent falls which are so often fatal in the elderly population. Unfortunately, rather than providing Ryan with the required care she paid for and which the facility promised, Serenity Villa’s staff just flat out failed to provide her with the legally mandated supervision or fall prevention measures and allowed Ryan to suffer the very falls the facility was meant to prevent, resulting in Ryan’s spinal fracture and death.

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

“Rather than providing the required care to address the conditions for which Edytha was admitted to Serenity Villa in the first place, it’s clear that the facility’s staff substantially ignored her needs and withheld required care so as to allow and cause her to suffer multiple preventable falls,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “She was not afforded even basic fall prevention devices or supervision, which could have prevented this tragedy. Serenity Villa appears to have made a decision to conduct unlawful and deceptive practices by understaffing and failing to appropriately train employees for the purpose of income. Unfortunately, because of the lack of care driven by a culture of putting profits over patients, the facility’s apparent neglect caused Edytha extensive injuries that resulted in excruciating pain, and ultimately her untimely death.”

Allegations and Background

The lawsuit states that Ryan was admitted to Serenity Villa in January 2017, and prior to her admission, the facility’s staff were well aware that Ryan suffered from dementia, had a history of prior falls and was a high risk to suffer further falls; therefore, Ryan required special care and assistance.

According to the lawsuit, the facility retained Ryan as a resident even though they had not properly trained their staff in fall risk prevention and failed to provide appropriate staff to prevent Ryan from falling.

The facility’s staff was well aware that if they failed to provide Ryan with the high level of care, supervision and monitoring they promised, there was a high probability that Ryan would suffer injury, and it’s alleged that Serenity Villa consciously disregarded this risk, leading directly to Ryan’s injuries and death.

As a result of the apparent substandard care Ryan received at Serenity Villa, she suffered at least four separate falls during her residency at the facility, including a fall that resulted in her spinal fracture and death.