(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.)
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS OF THE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
The First Cause of Action details the facts which would support a verdict for reckless neglect of an elder on the part of Nationwide Hospital.
It is alleged that Katy was a patient under the care of Nationwide Hospital from September 25, 2007 through October 4, 2007, with a diagnosis of neck fracture. It is further alleged that Ms. Smith suffered from pre-existing paraplegia and, while at Nationwide Hospital, she was plainly dependent upon Nationwide Hospital for virtually all activities of daily living. The complaint goes on to allege that because of Ms. Smith’s condition, Nationwide Hospital knew that she was at high risk for the development of pressure ulcers and that, if they were allowed to develop, they would be difficult to treat because of Ms. Smith’s bed-bound status and that there was a significant risk of serious consequences from their progression.
The First Amended Complaint with specificity alleges that the nurses at Nationwide Hospital knew or were obligated to know that Ms. Smith was required to be repositioned at a minimal interval of every two hours in order for a proper ulcer-prevention care plan to be carried out.
Rather than turning and repositioning Katy every two hours consistently throughout her admission, multiple members of the nursing staff did not turn her at such intervals and did not turn or reposition for periods of 3 hours, 4 hours, and 7 hours at various times during her stay. As a result of said repeated neglect, Katy developed pressure ulcers.
The complaint alleges that Katy Smith was a patient at Nationwide Hospital by virtue of her qualification as a Medicare patient and that, according to Medicare regulations, the development of pressure ulcers in a patient in an acute care hospital is a preventable event. (The regulation referred to is set forth in Section III-B below).
The complaint properly and specifically alleges reckless neglect on the part of managing agents and officers of Nationwide Hospital. It clearly asserts that the pattern of neglect was systemic and carried out by multiple Nationwide Hospital employees over multiple days. The pattern of neglect in not following said basic treatments and assessments was not an isolated episode of inadvertence by a single practitioner, but was evidence of institutional indifference in that multiple employees on multiple occasions neglected Katy Smith. (See Part 3 of 6.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.