North Hollywood Care Center Sued for Elder Abuse
Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Providence St. Elizabeth Care Center in North Hollywood, California. The suit alleges that the facility severely neglected their patient Albert Garcia, causing him to develop a serious Stage IV pressure sore that later became infected.
“The facility was well aware of Albert’s condition,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “However, they knowingly made false promises about their quality of care because to them, he would just be another source of revenue.”
Up until July 2015, Mr. Garcia was living at home; however, several of his medical conditions prevented him from caring for himself. Mr. Garcia suffered from diabetes; kidney failure, for which he received dialysis several times per week; and incontinence of both bowel and bladder. He was also wheelchair bound. Additionally, he was completely immobile and unable to turn or reposition himself, and was therefore unable to relieve his skin from the development of pressure sores.
As a result of his condition, in August 2015, Mr. Garcia was admitted to Providence St. Elizabeth Care Center. Upon his admission, the staff was made aware that he would require not only basic, but also extensive assistance with all activities of daily living. This care included attentiveness so that Mr. Garcia would not be left in his own urine and feces; adequate assistance with personal hygiene; ensuring that he was repositioned every two hours; suitable nutrition and hydration; and regular evaluations of his condition. Additionally, the facility was responsible for intervening to avoid pressure sore development and, should any develop, to prevent them from worsening.
As a predictable result of the wrongful withholding of required care, Mr. Garcia developed a severe and avoidable pressure ulcer on his spine. Unfortunately, his family was never informed about it. Instead, the facility engaged in a scheme to fraudulently conceal the existence of the pressure sore to avoid any confrontation with or complaint from Mr. Garcia’s family. In doing so, the defendants neglected to adequately treat the sore, which continued to worsen.
The pressure sore had become so severe and infected that Mr. Garcia was found unconscious and had to be transferred to St. Joseph Medical Center. When asked how he was found unconscious, the facility conjured up two contradicting stories.
It was only at St. Joseph’s emergency room that Mr. Garcia’s family and physician were finally notified of the existence of the wound that had developed at the facility. By the time it was reported, the wound had progressed to a Stage IV pressure ulcer, and was severely infected as a result of Providence St. Elizabeth Care Center’s negligence.