Second Lawsuit Filed Against Bakersfield Facility for Wrongful Death

Garcia & Artigliere filed its second lawsuit this year against Corinthian Gardens Healthcare Center located in Bakersfield, California, for elder abuse, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, and wrongful death. The suit alleges that the facility neglected patient Wilbert Robinson, allowing him to develop sepsis, pneumonia, a fungal infection and MRSA, which ultimately led to his death.

“Rather than providing adequate care to address the conditions for which Wilbert was admitted to the facility, staff utterly ignored his needs,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “By allowing him to suffer from a series of infections, and doing nothing to prevent them, the facility ultimately caused Wilbert’s death.”

In June 2010, after suffering a stroke, Mr. Robinson was transferred to Corinthian Gardens Healthcare Center for rehabilitation because he was no longer able to care for himself at home. Upon admission to the facility, Mr. Robinson was unable to speak; could walk only minimal amounts; required the use of a gastrostomy tube; and required assistance with all activities of daily living.

Throughout Mr. Robinson’s residency, the facility wrongfully withheld care from him by placing him in a wheelchair and preventing him from ambulating or rehabilitating to regain his strength. They would place objects in front of his wheelchair to block him from getting up. Additionally, Mr. Robinson suffered from a fungal infection on his head, was physically restrained, was allowed to lie in his bed covered in feces, and had his clothing stolen and personal items misplaced.

When Mr. Robinson’s family asked the facility to have his fungal infection examined by a physician, the staff falsely stated that he was “fine” and that “nothing was wrong.” The facility continued to neglect Mr. Robinson for the following six months, allowing him to suffer from the head fungus before they finally gave him medical attention.

In early March 2015, Mr. Robinson’s sister went to the facility to visit and was shocked to find her brother unattended in his room covered in dried feces, with a bloody diaper lying on the floor.

Additionally, the facility had instructed Mr. Robinson’s family that he needed new clothes in order to participate in physical therapy. Mr. Robinson’s family continually brought new clothing in for him, only to discover that it kept disappearing without explanation. Disturbingly, clothing was not the only item of Mr. Robinson’s that was being stolen—his tablet also went missing without explanation. After his family questioned the facility and threatened to call the police about the missing tablet, it suddenly reappeared.

The facility further neglected Mr. Robinson’s needs by refusing to answer his call light. It was often found under his bed or hidden behind his headboard, where Mr. Robinson could not find or reach it.

On April 26, Mr. Robinson was transferred to Bakersfield Heart Hospital for treatment of pneumonia; once there, he was also diagnosed with sepsis and MRSA. He passed away on the same day as a result of the numerous health conditions he sustained at Corinthian Gardens.