Woman Develops Septic Shock and Dies at Nursing Home

Stockton, Calif. – Rather than provide interventions and implement proper care strategies for resident Jacqueline Ann Merritt, Wagner Heights Nursing & Rehabilitation Center neglected her needs, which ultimately led to her death.

“The facility made false promises that they were equipped to handle a patient such as Jacqueline,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “But once she was admitted, she was just another source of revenue to them.”

Garcia, Artigliere & Medby filed a lawsuit against Wagner Heights Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for elder abuse, negligence and wrongful death. According to the lawsuit, Merritt was admitted to the facility after suffering a stroke and was promised physical therapy to help her recovery. The staff was well aware that Merritt was prescribed and to be administered a series of pain medications, suffered from incontinence of both bowel and bladder, and was completely immobile.

When Merritt was admitted in January 2015, her medical conditions made her particularly susceptible to constipation and bowel impaction. Although the facility was aware of her condition, they took no preventative measures to preserve her health and safety. Over the course of her residency, Merritt was regularly left in her own urine and feces for extended periods of time. She would also go unbathed for weeks and lie in the same position in bed for several consecutive hours. When Merritt’s family members would ask for help with bathing her, the staff would simply ignore them. Merritt’s lack of appetite also raised her family’s suspicions; however, their complaints fell on deaf ears.

In February 2016, Merritt’s family received a phone call from the facility advising them that she was experiencing symptoms of infection. Merritt was then transferred to the emergency room and placed on a ventilator where she remained in critical condition.

An ultrasound revealed that Merritt had a severe impaction in her colon that had tunneled into her intestines. The impaction ultimately resulted in a ruptured intestine, causing her to suffer inflammation in her abdominal organs, sepsis and septic shock.

Merritt passed away on February 10, 2016, as a result of the infections she developed at Wagner Heights Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.