Woman Contracts Severe Infections as a Result of Reedley Facility’s Negligence

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit in Fresno County Superior Court against Golden Living Center – Reedley for elder abuse, negligence, and negligent hiring and supervision. The lawsuit states that the facility neglected one of its patients, Freida Dietrich, allowing her to contract several dangerous and life-threatening illnesses that have permanently altered her way of life.

“As the development of infections suffered by Freida continued to worsen, staff failed to accurately and properly update her care plan,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Instead of preventing her injuries, for which they had been hired to do, the facility made Freida even more susceptible to the infections, and as a result, she suffered and continues to suffer extreme pain.”

On January 18, 2016, Ms. Dietrich was admitted to Golden Living Center – Reedley for rehabilitation and wound care for a Stage III pressure ulcer she had developed. At the time of her admission, Ms. Dietrich also suffered from anemia, and the facility was aware that she required assistance with all activities of daily living. The facility also knew and accepted the fact that Ms. Dietrich required timely attention and care to prevent the worsening of pressure sores; adequate nutrition; and assistance with personal hygiene.

However, the facility wrongfully withheld care from Ms. Dietrich throughout the entirety of her stay. On numerous occasions, Ms. Dietrich was left in her own feces, which caused her to develop MRSA and C. difficile, causing her to suffer constant diarrhea. In addition, Ms. Dietrich’s son specifically instructed the facility to monitor her for signs and symptoms of dehydration. Furthermore, he had asked staff to feed Ms. Dietrich Metamucil biscuits to stiffen her stool. However, the facility simply ignored these requests. They also disregarded the reality that Ms. Dietrich suffered from anemia and never repeated her complete blood count test.

In late February 2016, a friend of Ms. Dietrich visited the facility and noticed that she did not look well. She immediately called Ms. Dietrich’s family and informed them. When Ms. Dietrich’s son arrived, he realized that his mother was dehydrated, a symptom he had instructed the facility to monitor, but which they had not done.  By the time the staff took action to address her dehydration, Ms. Dietrich had to be transferred to Saint Agnes Medical Center.

Upon her admission to St. Agnes, Ms. Dietrich was diagnosed with severe dehydration, renal failure and lactic acidosis. She spent four days in the ICU followed by three additional days under hospital care.

As a result of the injuries Ms. Dietrich sustained at the facility, her rehabilitation progress regressed. She lost her overall strength and her ability to walk, and now requires full-time skilled nursing care as she continues to recover.