Lawsuit Filed: Nursing Facility Wrongfully Discharges Elderly Patient

San Diego, Calif. – After suffering from a number of falls, Maria Coffman was transferred to Paradise Ridge Post-Acute for rehabilitation and physical therapy, and most significantly for assistance to protect from the ravages of known fall risk to the elderly. Moreover, Maria also suffered from a myriad of medical conditions rendering her susceptible to infections for which she paid good money to Paradise Ridge Post-Acute to address. The Complaint alleges that rather than provide this knowingly required care, Paradise Ridge Post-Acute instead focused on their own profit in abject ignorance of the needs of Maria and the requirements of California regulations and law.

Garcia & Artigliere & Faulkner filed a lawsuit against Paradise Ridge Post-Acute for elder abuse based on these allegations that Paradise Ridge Post-Acute placed its own profits in front of the needs of the elderly Maria.

“Maria suffered an entirely preventable and traumatic fall resulting simply because she was not provided the care for which Paradise Ridge Post-Acute insisted upon being paid a lot of money. Then to rub salt in the wound, as the result of a failure of care Maria was also allowed to suffer a urinary tract infection, malnutrition, dehydration and weight loss,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “It is our opinion that these horrific injuries to Maria would not have occurred had Paradise Ridge Post-Acute simply adhered to applicable rules, laws and regulations, as well as the acceptable standards of practice governing the operation of a skilled nursing facility. Instead, as the complaint alleges, Paradise Ridge Post-Acute was more focused on lining their pockets at the expense of elderly residents like Maria.”

Allegations and Background

On November 28, 2016, Coffman was admitted into the facility with Parkinson’s Disease, high blood pressure, a communication deficit and cognitive decline. Coffman also had a documented history of falls, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit alleges that one of the primary reasons for Coffman’s admittance to Paradise Ridge Post-Acute was for rehabilitation and physical therapy following a series of falls, as well as to protect her from further falls and exacerbation of her already existing mental and physical conditions.

According to the lawsuit, over her 30 days of residency, the facility neglected to provide required care to Coffman. The facility allegedly ignored the needs of Coffman, and her susceptibility for suffering painful and dangerous urinary tract infections. Rather than monitor and update her care plans, the facility failed to acknowledge Coffman’s signs of infection.

On December 30, 2016, she contracted a urinary tract infection and experienced a severe anxiety attack. The lawsuit alleges that Coffman was then transferred to a hospital emergency room, at the demands of her daughter.  When Coffman arrived at the hospital, there was no indication or communication with hospital personnel stating that she was diagnosed with a UTI, and therefore was not put on antibiotics.

Coffman was later discharged from the emergency room and was transferred back to the facility.  On the following day, Coffman sustained a traumatic fall, hitting her head on the floor. The lawsuit states that Coffman then began to experience severe arm pain. She was rushed to the hospital, where the attending physician informed her daughter that Coffman hit her head during the fall.

The lawsuit states that throughout her residency, the facility wrongfully withheld required care. On one occasion, Coffman’s daughter was informed that the facility staff had been giving her mother antianxiety medication regardless of whether she needed it or not. According to the lawsuit, Coffman’s health began to decline, and she began experiencing hallucinations. Allegedly, the facility continued to feed Coffman antianxiety medications until she was almost comatose.

After the facility overmedicated Coffman, they met with her daughter to notify her of their intent to discharge Coffman because they could no longer provide the level of care she required.