Man Suffers Broken Hip and Pelvis as a Result of Anaheim Care Facility’s Negligence

Garcia & Artigliere has filed a lawsuit against A & A Home Care located in Anaheim, California, for elder abuse, negligence, and negligent hiring and supervision. The lawsuit alleges that a resident of the facility, William Donoghue, was neglected, and as a result had a preventable fall that led to a broken hip and pelvis.

“The facility was understaffed and lacked training, and should have never accepted responsibility for William,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “They did not have the necessary resources to provide the care he required, and as a result he suffered severe and life-threatening injuries.”

On December 26, 2015, Mr. Donoghue, a retired Anaheim police officer, began residing at the facility after experiencing arm and neck pain. He was also battling Stage IV prostate cancer, which had spread to his back, pelvis, hips and arms.

Upon Mr. Donoghue’s admission to the facility, the owner and caregiver informed his family that he was at a high risk for falls, which could be fatal should they result in hemorrhaging. The facility promised Mr. Donoghue’s family that they would give him special care and assistance, specifically in helping him move to and from the bathroom and dining room to ensure that he would not fall. The facility was aware of Mr. Donoghue’s condition, yet still failed to create and implement proper care plans to prevent him from falling.

Furthermore, due to the facility’s lack of sufficient staff, especially during the evening shift, they also resorted to overmedicating Mr. Donoghue as a means to keep him quiet and not ask for assistance. Under a physician’s order, Mr. Donoghue was to be given one tablet of morphine every 12 hours for pain; however, the facility disregarded those instructions and used the drug as a chemical restraint by giving Mr. Donoghue three tablets to sedate him, all without the consent or knowledge of his family or physician.

Not surprisingly, as a result of the facility’s wrongful withholding of care and their use of chemical restraints, Mr. Donoghue suffered a serious fall while unattended, resulting in a fractured pelvis and left hip. His injuries led to hemorrhaging, which required him to receive a blood transfusion. Additionally, after his fall, the facility neglected him for hours instead of seeking emergency treatment for his life-threatening injuries.

Instead of calling 911, the facility simply put Mr. Donoghue back into his wheelchair, where he sat neglected and in pain, suffering from the injuries he had sustained during his fall. Mr. Donoghue pleaded with the facility’s caregiver to call 911, but she refused to do so. At 7:00 a.m., four hours later, the facility called Mr. Donoghue’s daughter stating that he had fallen. She immediately rushed to the facility only to find Mr. Donoghue slumped in a wheelchair in excruciating pain. A nurse had placed bandages on his body to cover the cuts and scrapes he had received during his fall.

Horrified that the facility had failed to perform any meaningful assessments and had not taken Mr. Donoghue to the hospital, his daughter immediately called 911. Mr. Donoghue was taken to West Anaheim Medical Center emergency room, where he was stabilized. While at the hospital, Mr. Donoghue recounted to his daughter the true events regarding his fall, which were vastly different from the representation made by the facility’s caregiver.

Furthermore, the caregiver was the only night-time nurse at the facility. She was responsible for watching over all the residents there, and was working a 24-hour shift. As such, she would often sleep at night while on duty, during which time she was unable to provide care and supervision to the residents of the facility.

In addition, as a result of the continuous neglect Mr. Donoghue received at A & A Home Care, he lost approximately 40-50 pounds.