(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this elder abuse/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
As discussed above, Allen developed stage III decubitus ulcers on his buttocks, stage IV decubitus ulcers on his left hip, and a stage II decubitus ulcer on his left ankle. Allen developed a bone infection called osteomyelitis that resulted from his decubitus ulcers. In order to treat the osteomyelitis, Allen underwent surgical process called debridement that took place on May 16, 2005. Photographs of Allen’s decubitus ulcers will be available at the settlement conference. As a result of the assault, Allen suffered injuries to the chest, shock, humiliation, and fear.
A health care provider may be held liable for reckless neglect for failing to take appropriate action, repeatedly or over a significant period of time, when a dependent adult suffers a decline or change in condition. Sababin v. Superior Court (2005) 144 Cal. App. 4th 81, 90, 50 Cal. Rptr. 3d 266. The defendant in Sababin, like defendant XYZ, argued that it cannot be held liable for dependent adult abuse unless it had injured the patient due to a total absence of care. The court disagreed. The court concluded that even [I]f some care is provided, that will not necessarily absolve a care facility of dependent adult abuse liability.
If a care facility knows that it must provide a certain type of care on a daily basis, but provides that care sporadically, or is supposed to provide multiple types of care, but only provides some of those types of care, withholding of care has occurred. In those cases, the trier of fact must determine whether there is a significant pattern of withholding portions or types of care.
A significant pattern is one that involves repeated withholding of care and leads to the conclusion that the pattern was the result of choice or deliberate indifference. Sababin, 144 Cal. App. 4th at 90. Nurses may be found liable for negligence if the nurse failed to exercise the level of skill, knowledge, and care in the treatment of the plaintiff that other reasonably careful nurses would possess and use in similar circumstances. CACI Instruction 504, Standard of Care for nurses. (See Part 3 of 3.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.