A horrific, avoidable ailment has lead to the tragic death of man in a Colorado nursing home, and the family has in-turn received a massive settlement. The Rocky Ford nursing home has been found guilty of neglecting the elderly man and allowing a ‘fist-size necrotic abscess’ to develop from a bedsore, which ultimately claimed the man’s life. Now Pioneer Healthcare will be paying his surviving family $3.2 million after a successful wrongful death lawsuit.
The bedsore was first noticed by the nursing home staff in early September 2010. At the time, they let the family know that they would monitor it closely. The man had been placed in Rocky Ford in 2009 with the understanding that he had special care needs and was at a high risk for bedsores after long suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
By the end of September the family was told that the wound was spreading, so the man’s son had to use the power of attorney to force the nursing home to finally send his father to a hospital. The family took another step to help their loved one and reported the bedsores to Adult Protective Services.
But the family felt as though their concerns were being ignored. The man would soon succumb to the infection and pass away. The nursing home had a much different story, claiming the man died from complications from his Parkinson’s while recovering from the bedsore.
The man’s grieving daughter claimed, ‘Bedsores are not unavoidable… They didn’t even tell any of us how sick my dad was, how bad the sore was. It’s pretty horrific.’
Since the Colorado nursing home wasn’t taking responsibility for the negligence, the family decided to take action themselves and filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Once investigated it was revealed in early 2011 the nursing home was cited for 27 deficiencies, included citations for infection control.
The deceased man was ultimately found to have suffered ‘16 facility-acquired infections’ and 34 injuries. And according to his death certificate, he died from MRSA, an incredibly hard-to-treat Staph Infection.
‘Stage 4’ bedsores like the man’s are so appalling that national safety panels put it in the same classification as ‘electrocuting a patient or amputating the wrong limb.’
Ultimately a jury awarded the family $3.2 million, but Colorado law caps wrongful death suits at $300,000. However, the family’s attorney intends to argue for a larger settlement on the grounds that the nursing home abuse went past neglect and into the ‘reckless.’
Southern Colorado Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When you decide that a loved one must go to a nursing home, you expect an appropriate level of care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is far too often a reality facing Colorado families. If you suspect that one of your loved ones is a victim of nursing home abuse, you’ll want to seek the help of an experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney.
The Attorneys at Heuser & Heuser have been serving the victims and the family of victims of nursing home abuse, neglect, and wrongful death in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Monument, Trinidad, and throughout Southern Colorado.
Contact the Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Heuser & Heuser today for a free case review!
Source. NBC11news.com, ‘http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/Widow_gets_32_million_after_nursing_home_death_150037595.html,’ May, 2012.
Source. The Denver Post.com, ‘http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_20650685/jury-says-man-died-due-rocky-ford-nursing,’ Michael Booth, May 18, 2012.