Whittier Hospital Sued for Elder Abuse

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby has filed a lawsuit against Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, California, for elder abuse, negligence, and negligent hiring and supervision. The lawsuit alleges that Christos Bakolas suffered a Stage IV pressure sore and severe urinary tract infection during his 34-day stay at the hospital.

“The facility was aware of Christos’ condition, but failed to provide him with required care,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “He was denied much-needed supervision and treatment which, if provided, would have prevented his painful suffering.”

On March 26, 2015, Mr. Bakolas was admitted to Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital after suffering from a stroke that caused paralysis of half his body. As a result of his stroke, Mr. Bakolas had a very limited range of motion and required assistance with all activities of daily living. He also suffered from a variety of conditions including: bowel incontinence; the inability to walk; and trouble swallowing, all of which was well known to the facility and staff.

However, staff neglected Mr. Bakolas’ needs, which included failing to reposition his body; keeping him clean and dry from feces and urine; making sure he was properly hydrated; assessing his emergent needs; reporting his condition to his physician; and creating a proper plan of care. As a result of this negligence, Mr. Bakolas suffered from a Stage IV pressure sore. Further, the facility and staff knew that this sore had developed; however, they concealed the evidence from his family and physician.

The course of Mr. Bakolas’ 34-day stay in the facility encompassed approximately 68 shifts of hospital personnel. Additionally, the staff sedated Mr. Bakolas so he would not be a burden to them, overmedicating him using propofol and other narcotics, which compromised his only kidney. As a result, Mr. Bakolas now requires dialysis three times per week.

Furthermore, throughout the period that Mr. Bakolas was at the facility, the staff failed to change his Foley catheter even once. Because of the staff’s negligence, Mr. Bakolas developed a severe urinary tract infection that required him to be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU), where he was found to be septic. Mr. Bakolas was subsequently transferred to another facility, where it was finally reported to his family that he also suffered from a pressure sore he had developed while at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital.

The extensive medical treatment that Mr. Bakolas required had exhausted the funds available to him from his insurance company. As a result, he had to pay $60,000 out of pocket to cover the bills for all the injuries he had sustained.