Often, nursing homes are safe, secure places for our elder loved ones to live out their final days. There are occasions when there are allegations of abuse and neglect. These are often met with fines and lawsuits, but rarely an admission of wrongdoing.
A high-end nursing home in Santa Rosa, California has agreed to a $1-million settlement in the death of a patient. The patient died as a result of complications from a bed sore.
Emeritus at Santa Rosa, which has since been renamed Brookdale Fountaingrove, agreed to the settlement in the 2013 death of 87-year-old Eleanor Buckingham.
Buckingham’s family alleges that the staff of the nursing home failed to care for a pressure ulcer that had developed on her back. Attorneys for the plaintiffs state that the nursing home denied care until it became infected. Buckingham was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where she died of sepsis just eight days later.
Buckingham had suffered a bout of cellulitis that landed her in Emeritus for rehabilitation back in 2012. She had plans to rehabilitate and then return to live with her daughter. Nursing home staff noticed the bedsore on admission, but did not treat it immediately. The wound was allowed to double in size until staff at Emeritus downgraded her from skilled nursing to assisted living. It wasn’t until a specialist examined her that she was taken to the hospital.
Patricia McGinnis, the executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform says that the settlement is significant. Damages for simple negligence are capped at $250,000 under state law.
“A million dollars is a statement,” she said, “It says we did something wrong.”
The settlement came on the eve of the trial start date. The trial was scheduled to start on March 4th.
If you believe that yourself or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the “Strong Arm” attorneys at John Foy & Associates. Our attorneys will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.