Reckless Disregard By Physicians At Sacramento Hospital Leads To Wrongful Death, Part 4 of 9

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Sutter, or any skilled nursing facility.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this wrongful death case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff alleges that XYZ’s nursing staff and staff, recklessly neglected Mr. Lee by continuously giving him solid food, in violation of standing instructions because Mr. Lee had recently undergone surgery to remove a tumor inside his esophagus. Plaintiffs family and others warned XYZ to follow the instructions, but XYZ continued to disregard the instructions. This was not an isolated incident, nor limited to one person, but ongoing and continuous reckless neglect and treatment of Mr. Lee from September 14, 2006 through October 23, 2006. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

These facts are sufficient to establish the inference that as an on going and continuance act by XYZ’s staff, the managing staff of the hospital or others approved and ratified this conduct. Plaintiff has alleged these facts of ratification and authorization. XYZ’s reckless disregard of these standing instructions caused Mr. Lee serious pain and suffering and physical injuries, including choking on food, vomiting, aspirating into his lungs and suffering an incident of prolonged respiratory failure with significant permanent injury.

XYZ argues that it is unclear whether the non-solid food instructions provided when Mr. Lee was transferred to XYZ, was a part of XYZ’s doctor’s orders is irrelevant. XYZ is arguing what it contends should be the evidence, which is inappropriate on a demurrer. (Aubry v. Tri City Hosp. Dist. (1992) 2 Cal.4th 962, 966-967 [demurrer admits the truth of all material facts].

Plaintiff also alleges that once Mr. Lee was confined to bed, he required care and re-positioning to avoid developing any bedsores. However, XYZ’s staff and nurses, again, between September 14, 2006 and October 23, 2006, recklessly neglected Mr. Lee so that he developed a needless Stage II-III sacral decubitus ulcer. XYZ claims this is insufficient to show reckless neglect.

In Mack v. Soung (2000) 80 Cal.App.4th 966, 973, the court held that the existence of a pressure sore and any lack of needed care, constitutes abandonment and neglect within the meaning of the Elder Abuse Act On a summary judgment, the Sababin court found triable issues whether the health provider’s employees were guilty of reckless, oppressive or malicious neglect because they failed to follow a care plan for maintaining the health of the skin of the patient. [Sababin v. Superior Court (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 81, 90. The Sababin court further concluded that A trier of fact could find that when a care facility’s employees ignore a care plan, and fail to check the skin condition of a resident … such conduct shows deliberate disregard of the high degree of probability injury shall be suffered by the patient. Ibid.

Similarly, in this case, plaintiff alleges that XYZ employees failed to follow the strict dietary instructions for Mr. Lee, and recklessly neglected the care of Mr. Lee causing him to develop serious pressure sores. (See Part 5 of 9.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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