The Devereux Foundation has settled a nursing home injury lawsuit that ended with a wrongful death. The lawsuit alleged that the staff working at a residential behavioral health facility in Pennsylvania failed to recognize infection symptoms in a patient.
That resident was developmentally disabled and suffered fatal injuries as a result of poor care, according to the nursing home injury lawsuit. The foundation settled by paying $800,000 to end the wrongful death lawsuit.
The young woman who suffered fatal injuries was 35 at the time of the incident and was suffering from Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. This is a rare genetic disorder in which the symptoms include GERD, issues with communication and behavior, small stature, and slow growth. In July 2014, after the affected patient had been a resident of the nursing home for 10 years, she complained of shoulder pain.
The nursing home injury lawsuit stated that this is a symptom of valve perforation that should have been taken more seriously by the nursing home staff. At the time of the incident, the patient was given a pain reliever and staff noted that she was extremely aggressive and irritable that afternoon.
Those symptoms were treated with anti-anxiety medication, according to the nursing home injury lawsuit. The patient, later that evening, asked her own mother to take her to the hospital, but the residential manager at that facility said that it was only necessary to monitor the patient closely and provide her with fluids.
The symptoms continued, according to the paperwork in the lawsuit, when the patient complained that she was unable to move her bowels. She was ultimately moved to her room where the staff allowed her to fall asleep on the floor, but she was found dead the following morning.
Any symptoms that might indicate a serious medical problem should be reported by the patient to staff right away. Family members of the deceased argued that in this case, the staff failed to notice a quickly-developing serious and fatal problem that could have been prevented if intervention had occurred earlier.
Claims like this without an appropriate staff reponse might lead to irreparable damage or the wrongful death of a patient.
The pre-trial memorandum was filed on behalf of the patient in the nursing home injury lawsuit in September 2017. According to the nursing home injury lawsuit, investigations from state agencies yielded intentional or reckless failure to provide treatment, neglect and intentional use of chemical isolation or restraint. The case was settled in 2017 after being initially filed in January 2016.
If you believe that you have grounds to file a nursing home injury lawsuit because of staff mistreatment or neglect of a patient who suffered severe or fatal injuries, consult with an experienced attorney immediately. Schedule time to talk with the lawyers at McDonald Worley about your next steps.
Note: McDonald Worley is not representing the plaintiff in this lawsuit.