Lawsuit Filed: Mentally Disabled, Elderly Man Suffers Severe Neglect and Dies at San Diego Nursing Facility

Los Angeles, Calif. — Kenneth Foust, a 71-year-old man suffering from intellectual disabilities leaving him unable to communicate, as well as walking difficulties and a recent history of falls, was admitted to Point Loma Post Acute Center for maximum assistance with all daily living activities, and for physical, occupational therapy for the express purpose of preventing the fatal falls of the elderly. Rather than provide this required care the lawsuit alleged that the facility wrongfully withheld required care, leading to a myriad of medical declines resulting in total immobility, horrific pressure sores and infections, severe dehydration and malnourishment, and significant weight loss. The lawsuit asserts the neglect was so pervasive that no other facility was willing to accept Foust as a resident, and he was eventually transferred to the University of San Diego Medical Center, where Foust was diagnosed with sepsis, kidney failure and severe dehydration. Just a week after being admitted to the hospital, it’s alleged Foust died as a direct result of the facility’s wrongdoing and efforts to conceal his injuries throughout his stay.

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Point Loma Post Acute Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Kenneth’s tragic suffering could have been avoided had Point Loma Post Acute Center not purposely misled his family about the cause of his injuries even up to the point of his death, as described in our Complaint,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “In fact, his family didn’t discover the alleged wrongdoing until months after he passed away, when further investigation confirmed the same suspicions voiced by staff at University of San Diego Medical Center the week before Kenneth’s death. It’s evident the facility was practicing negligent hiring and retaining unfit employees – all while lining their own pockets – creating a risk to Kenneth and other residents. The staffing decisions made were irrespective of patient needs, and determined solely by the financial needs of the facility.”

Allegations and Background

In or about 2009, Foust was admitted to Point Loma Post Acute Center and it’s alleged the facility failed to provide him with the medical and custodial care that he required, including withholding all rehabilitation therapy, leaving him in his urine and feces for extended periods of time, failing to provide him with adequate and proper personal hygiene, failing to turn and reposition him while he was in bed to relieve pressure from bony prominences, and failing to provide and encourage him with adequate nutrition and hydration so as to prevent entirely preventable and significant weight loss and decline of his ability to eat and to stave off skin breakdown.

By or about 2012, Foust was bedbound, having lost his ability to walk, which had still been present upon admission, and was no longer able to feed himself. By this time, he was well known at Gentiva Hospital in Hillcrest, having been admitted multiple times for severe malnourishment and dehydration. Foust suffered ongoing, unexplained weight loss even after he was changed to a puree diet, followed by insertion of a feeding tube that was removed after he developed an infection at the insertion site. Foust appeared only skin and bones, and was constantly found by family thirsty, hungry, filthy and unbathed.

By or about 2015, Foust had a history of multiple Stage IV pressure ulcers on both hips and the coccyx area that first began in or about 2012. By this time, the ulcers on both hips were the size of baseballs and exposed bone. The wounds eventually developed a contagious infection resistant to antibiotics.

In or about August 2015, Foust was transferred to University of San Diego Medical Center and only at this point was his family informed that the injuries alleged herein were a direct result of the wrongful withholding of care perpetrated by the facility. The surgeon even commented that Foust had the worst bed sores he had ever seen.

It’s alleged the injuries and death of Foust would not have occurred had the facility simply adhered to applicable rules, laws and regulations, as well as the acceptable standards of practice governing the operation of a skilled nursing facility.