Lawsuit Filed: Man Dies as a Result of Elder Abuse and Negligence in Thousand Oaks Hospital

Thousand Oaks, Calif. – Emanuel Mandelman was admitted to Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center suffering from a myriad of medical conditions, including pneumonia and advanced dementia. According to the hospital’s initial assessment, Mandelman was a high fall risk, requiring 24-hour supervision and assistance with daily activities. In the month following his residency, the complaint alleged that the staff was negligent in diagnosing and treating pneumonia symptoms, and attempted to abruptly discharge Mandelman, despite the hazards posed by his condition. The complaint alleges that the day before his discharge, while unsupervised, Mandelman suffered a traumatic fall which was clearly improperly cared for. Further, that the incident was withheld from his family, and as a result of Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center’s alleged negligence, Mandelman never regained consciousness and died three days later.

Garcia & Artigliere & Faulkner filed a lawsuit against Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center for elder abuse.

“Emanuel’s family placed him in Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center to provide the constant supervision and care necessary for someone in his condition – not to allow him to suffer at the hands of incompetent and fraudulent medical staff,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “The Complaint alleges that in an unfortunate effort to conceal Emanuel’s pneumonia and severe fall as alleged in our complaint, the hospital perpetuated his injuries, resulting in his death. Their attempts to seem to qualify for the “patient dumping” of Emanuel from Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center as soon as his Medicare benefits ceased. Based on what we know now, this surely appears to be a conscious decision to put the hospital’s profits before Emanuel’s health and safety.”

Allegations and Background

In February 2016, Mandelman was transferred via ambulance to the Emergency Department of Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center for a variety of emergency conditions, including pneumonia, heart attack and advanced dementia. Due to his advanced dementia, Mandelman was increasingly agitated and confused, and posed a high risk to his own safety, which generally confined him to a bed or wheelchair. Upon Mandelman’s admittance, a nurse conducted an assessment and determined he was a high risk for falls, which required assistance for mobility and Activities of Daily Living.

Beginning on February 24, 2016 and over the next two weeks, the Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center staff documented pneumonia symptoms in Mandelman. On March 4, it was noted that Mandelman was constantly sleeping and unable to open his eyes. This was followed by documentation on March 10 that the staff performed a limited examination and allegedly found no symptoms of pneumonia. The staff never again screened and/or assessed Mandelman’s chest and/or lungs after this last examination.

On or about March 16, the hospital physicians met with Mandelman’s family to inform them of the end of his Medicare payments and that he must be discharged by March 18 to a rehabilitation facility despite an ongoing recurrence of pneumonia and his need for respiratory therapy. The hospital offered no assistance or counseling on locating a new facility. On or about March 17, Mandelman suffered a traumatic fall, striking his head on the ground and obtaining severe, deep lacerations on his head and nose. At the time of the fall, Mandelman was heavily sedated and was allegedly left unattended with no safety precautions installed in his room.

The same day, the hospital physician contacted the family to advise that Mandelbaum could be transferred on March 21 instead of March 18, due to the physician’s upcoming personal vacation, but failed to mention Mandelman’s traumatic fall. Mandelman’s daughter went to visit her father and was shocked to see his condition, and requested an outside physician examine him. Mandelman’s lacerations had been improperly taken care of and required two layers of stitches to correct and close the wounds. It was then determined that the hospital failed to perform radiological tests until eight hours after his fall, which ultimately listed no fractures despite his outward condition.

Mandelman never regained consciousness after his fall and passed away just three days later. The death certificate listed the cause of death as pneumonia, despite the alleged findings of no pneumonia symptoms by the hospital.

The sequence of events points to Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center consistently failing to provide the necessary medical care for someone in Mandelman’s condition, and attempting to transfer him once Medicare benefits ended, as evidenced by the inadequate screening and stabilization, which led to his avoidable death.