Lawsuit Filed: Elderly Woman Suffers Multiple Injuries and Dies in Contra Costa Nursing Facility

Contra Costa, Calif. Margaret De La Rocha was admitted to Lone Tree Convalescent Hospital in June 2016 following hospitalization for an infection. Prior to her admittance, the facility was informed that De La Rocha was a high fall risk, and was at risk for developing pressure sores. Unfortunately, Lone Tree Convalescent Hospital’s staff allegedly failed to provide her with the basic level of care that she needed, resulting in De La Rocha suffering multiple falls and developing painful pressure sores. Unfortunately, she succumbed to her injuries and passed away in May 2017.

Garcia, Artigliere, & Medby filed the lawsuit against Lone Tree Convalescent Hospital for elder abuse and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Long Tree Convalescent Hospital 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,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “The facility was well aware that Margaret required a high level of care to prevent her from falling, and it’s clear that in failing to provide adequate monitoring and basic care, they were lining their own pockets. Unfortunately, it appears that Long Tree Convalescent Hospital sees this all as the price of doing business. Once again, a vulnerable victim has paid the ultimate price for a business more concerned with profits than providing sufficient patient care.”

Allegations and Background

The lawsuit states that De La Rocha developed an infection in 2015 and was admitted to John Muir Medical Center. Once it was determined that she needed continued care, she entered Lone Tree Convalescent Hospital in June 2016.

It’s alleged that upon her admission, the facility’s staff was fully aware that De La Rocha required 24-hour care; however, they failed to provide proper care and attention, including failing to reposition her body every two hours, making sure she was clean and dry from feces, and ensuring proper hydration. As a result, the lawsuit states that De La Rocha developed preventable pressure sores.

In addition to the pressure sores, the lawsuit alleges that the facility also failed to provide De La Rocha, a known high fall risk, assistance with ambulation and transferring, as well as devices to prevent accidents and allegedly allowed De La Rocha to suffer the very falls the facility was meant to protect her from suffering.

When De La Rocha’s conditions became more serious, Lone Tree Convalescent Hospital’s staff allegedly did not do anything to prevent them from worsening, such as alerting De La Rocha’s doctor and family to the changes in her health and administering necessary medications.

The combination of De La Rocha’s falls and pressure sores proved too much for her to recover from and she died on May 28, 2017.