Lawsuit Filed: Residential Care Facility Cited for Negligence After Man Found Unconscious and Covered with Bed Sores Following a Fall

Westminster, Calif. — Sam Spampinato, who suffered from dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and congestive heart failure, and who was a high fall risk, was admitted to the Palm Retirement Center – a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) – for a short-term stay, after his wife became temporarily unable to care for him. It’s alleged that due to Palm Retirement Center’s failure to provide Spampinato required care and assistance with all his activities of daily living, he suffered from multiple pressure sores, severe dehydration and an injured forearm. As a result of the facility’s alleged and unfortunate abuse, Spampinato now resides in hospice.

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Palm Retirement Center for elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.

“Unfortunately, it’s alleged that Palm Retirement Center failed to provide sufficient staff in number or in training to properly care for Sam, resulting in several serious injuries,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “By law, RCFEs cannot accept residents who require 24-hour skilled nursing care, yet Palm Retirement Center neglected this legality, and retained Sam anyway. This appears to be yet another instance where a skilled nursing facility retained a resident they knew they could not properly care for in order to unlawfully maximize profits, and in doing so, jeopardized the health and safety of its residents.”

Allegations and Background

In August 2016, Spampinato’s wife became temporarily unable to provide the level of care her husband needed, and thus sought temporary assistance through Palm Retirement Center.  Spampinato was admitted to the facility with dementia and Parkinson’s disease, which made him prone to wandering.  He required full assistance with walking, as well as eating, bathing, and dressing.

By law, RCFEs cannot accept residents who require 24-hour skilled nursing care. Due to  Spampinato’s health conditions, he required daily assistance by skilled nursing care, along with his activities of daily living, including eating, dressing and bathing. Unfortunately, Spampinato needed a higher level of care than what could be lawfully provided at Palm Retirement Center.

The lawsuit states that on August 23, 2016, less than 10 days after Spampinato moved into the facility, the staff was having trouble getting him to go to bed. Instead of properly assisting him with his routine needs, the staff placed him into bed fully clothed, including his shoes. They did not return to check on him until 8:00 a.m. the next morning, when they found him unconscious. Days later, he was transported to the hospital.

Upon examination at the hospital, Spampinato was found to have multiple pressure sores on the left side of his body.  He was also suffering from acute renal failure, severe dehydration and an injured forearm. According to the lawsuit, the physicians at the hospital estimated that Spampinato had been lying on the floor alone and unconscious for more than six hours.

The lawsuit states that Spampinato’s overall condition as the result of the lack of care Palm Retirement Center provided to him, has deteriorated to the point that he can no longer walk without assistance.  He is now in hospice care.