Patient Dies in Hands of Stockton Care Facility

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against Wagner Heights Residential, a care facility located in Stockton, California, for elder abuse, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, and wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges that the facility severely neglected one of its patients, Robert Lampkins, who developed a Stage IV pressure ulcer that ultimately caused his death.

“The injuries Robert sustained were a direct result of the facility’s improper insistence on unreasonable profit at the expense of the legally required care to which he was entitled,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “They failed to ensure his safety, which directly resulted in the health and safety hazards that led to his death.”

In 2010, Mr. Lampkins suffered a stroke, leaving him paralyzed and wheelchair bound. In 2011, he was no longer able to take care of himself and was admitted to Wagner Heights Residential for the sole purpose of receiving assistance with all activities of daily living.

At the time of his admission, Mr. Lampkins was noted by his physician to have multiple medical conditions, including: history of stoke; paralysis on his left side; chronic kidney disease that required dialysis; and a history of hypertension. He also suffered from both bowel and bladder incontinence; confusion/disorientation; was non-ambulatory; and required at least one person to help with all activities of living, including bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, and grooming.

The facility failed to provide Mr. Lampkins’ caregivers with the special training they required in order to manage his needs. Throughout his residency at the facility, his overall condition became progressively worse. He was often found with soiled diapers and feces on his bedding and clothing. At one point, Mr. Lampkins was being taken to breakfast and told the caregivers he needed to use the bathroom; however, instead of taking him there, he was left unattended in his own feces.

Mr. Lampkins developed a syndrome called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), which caused him to retain urine, putting him at risk for a urinary tract infection. This condition requires the placement of a Foley catheter in order to prevent the uncontrolled retention. However, the facility failed to update his care plan and simply turned a blind eye to this.

As a direct result of having BPH, Mr. Lampkins developed a urinary tract infection in June 2015. Instead of taking him to the hospital, the facility did nothing except restrain him in his bed with a series of straps. It was not until his family found Mr. Lampkins tied to his bed and unconscious that he was finally rushed to the hospital for treatment of this severe infection. Furthermore, Mr. Lampkins was also found to have a Stage II pressure ulcer on his buttocks, which had developed while he was at Wagner Heights Residential, but which had gone unreported to his family and physician.

In July 2015, his pressure ulcer became so severe that Mr. Lampkins was found unconscious as a result of the infection, and had to be transferred to Lodi Memorial Hospital for emergency debridement surgery. It was only at Lodi Memorial Hospital’s emergency room that Mr. Lampkins’ family and physician were notified of the existence of the wound.

On August 15, 2015, Mr. Lampkins died as result of the injuries he sustained at Wagner Heights Residential.