Residential Care Center in Torrance Sued for Elder Abuse

–Man suffering dementia and other serious conditions falls and sustains severe injuries–

Torrance, Calif. – Bay Crest Care Center accepted Fred Sakurai as a resident even though he had medical conditions that required a higher level of care than the non-medical facility could provide, which led to Sakurai falling and sustaining three fractures to his arm and shoulder in addition to severe head injuries. Sakurai was also assaulted by a male caretaker employee of Bay Crest who allegedly held a pillow over his face, not allowing Sakurai to breathe. Demonstrating disregard for Sakurai’s health and safety, Bay Crest Care Center did not seek medical attention for him following the fall nor did it investigate the incident involving the staff member. In fact, in response and in an apparent attempt to sweep the abuse of Sakurai under the table and allow such untoward misconduct to continue to occur at Bay Crest, the facility sought to mandate that Sakurai leave the facility permanently.

Allegations

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Bay Crest Care Center for elder abuse and negligent hiring and supervision. The elder law attorneys specialize in representing victims and families in residential center and nursing home abuse cases.

“Bay Crest Care Center accepted Fred Sakurai even though they were not equipped or allowed by law to care for him because of his medical conditions,” said attorney Stephen Garcia. “Not surprisingly, Mr. Sakuri’s condition deteriorated at Bay Crest, he suffered terrible injuries of the type which occur when a facility is more focused on its attainment of unlawful profits than the care they are legally required to provide to their elder and infirm residents. No one should have to experience such deplorable neglect and potentially life-threatening treatment from a facility entrusted with caring for elders.”

The lawsuit alleges that the facility knew Sakurai had conditions that included dementia, diabetes, pancreatitis, hypothyroidism and other maladies and required 24-hour care. It also states that due to these conditions and the medications he was taking for them, he was unbalanced, confused and at high risk of falling.

Background

Non-medical residential care facilities for the elderly are an intermediate step for people between independent living and nursing homes. Such a facility is forbidden to admit people who need around-the-clock assistance due to dementia or other health problems requiring special care. However, Bay Crest Care Center actively advertised itself as providing such special care, though it didn’t provide the trained staff and protective equipment to adequately care for Sakurai.

The lawsuit alleges that in the same month that Sakurai moved into the facility, he suffered a completely preventable and unnecessary fall at Bay Crest as the result of the inattention of Bay Crest personnel. Further, when Bay Crest Care Center did contact Sakurai’s wife, they simply lied to her telling her that he had fallen, but then misrepresented the significant nature of his injuries in an effort to conceal their misconduct, by falsely asserting that Sakurai suffered no injuries. The lawsuit then alleges that when Mrs. Sakuri visited Sakurai the next day, she was shocked to hear Sakurai complaining of pain and insisted that he be taken to the hospital. At the hospital the truth was exposed and the nature of his injuries actually suffered by Sakurai, and sought to be concealed by Bay Crest, were uncovered when where doctors discovered Sakurai’s arm and shoulder were broken in three places, and that he had sustained head and other injuries all of which were ignored by Bay Crest.

The lawsuit then alleges that Sakurai returned to the care center and within a few weeks reported that a Bay Crest caregiver had placed a pillow over his face, pressed down and prevented him from breathing. When Sakurai’s wife reported the incident to the Bay Crest’s administration, they refused to investigate and even demanded that Sakurai be removed from the facility. Shortly after Sakurai moved out of Bay Crest Care Center, it is alleged that the unfortunate results of the head injury suffered in the fall came to fruition and Sakurai was diagnosed with a brain bleed.