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Senior Care Home Sued Over Resident’s Poisoning Death

Senior Care Home Sued Over Resident’s Poisoning Death

Two residents of the Atria Park Senior Living Facility in the San Fransico Bay Area died after being accidentally served dishwashing liquid instead of juice.

Both families of the deceased sued the facility, alleging wrongful death, negligence, elder abuse, and neglect. The lawsuit claims that workers waited more than 30 minutes before calling 911 and that the chemical melted the lining of her digestive tract. It names the San Mateo facility and its Delaware-based corporate owners as defendants.

In a statement, Atria Park Senior Living Facility said a staff member, in violation of its procedures, “…filled a pitcher with liquid dishwashing detergent that has a nearly identical consistency and color to cranberry juice, with the intention of dispensing the liquid into a commercial dishwashing machine. Another staff member picked it up, mistaking it for juice, and served it to three residents.”

Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Nursing Homes

We trust nursing homes and adult rehabilitation facilities to care for our loved ones. What do we do when that trust is broken, and our loved one is found to be living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions or dies due to the facility’s neglectful actions?

As the elderly population multiplies, the need for these facilities has as well. Unfortunately, this has caused many facilities to be understaffed or have undertrained workers. According to the American Association for Justice, 90% of nursing homes have insufficient staffing to care for their residents adequately.

Medical Causes of Nursing Home Deaths

Unfortunately, there are many forms of neglect and abuse that could lead to nursing home deaths. Some of these include:

  • Infections, such as sepsis: Unclean ventilator tubes, catheters, and IVs can put the elderly at risk of these infections. Each of these requires openings in the body, which allow germs to enter and infections to start. Staff must be vigilant and observe signs of these infections. Nursing home residents are also at increased risk for bedsores.
  • Dehydration and malnutrition: Understaffed facilities may not provide the elderly with adequate nutrition, such that they may show signs of dehydration and malnutrition.
  • Medication errors: Giving medication to patients in incorrect dosages or prescribing medications that are not needed can be an upsetting result of undertrained nursing home staff. The nursing staff’s improper administration of medicines and drugs can have deadly results for a resident.
  • Untreated bedsores and pressure sores: Nursing home residents can develop pressure ulcers when they are not regularly turned and re-positioned by the staff. Life-threatening complications can arise from bedsores, including osteomyelitis, sepsis, and other infections.
  • Choking and asphyxiation: Residents can die from being fed the wrong food or not being adequately supervised during a meal when they have a swallowing disorder, such as dysphagia.
  • Legionnaire’s Disease: This disease is a type of bacterial pneumonia. Legionnaire’s disease is highly contagious and spreads mainly through water droplets where water has gathered for some time, like in air conditioning systems. When this happens, the infection spreads quickly and can threaten the lives of many in a nursing home.

The injury or death of an elderly loved one that a negligent healthcare facility causes is preventable, and the negligent party should be held accountable. Therefore, when a patient dies due to substandard care, this can be the grounds for filing a wrongful death claim based on negligence.

Reach Out to Our Office if Your Loved One Suffered Harm in a Nursing Home

Filing a wrongful death or injury claim requires an attorney with the experience and support staff to handle the case properly. At Charles Boyk Law Offices, we have dedicated healthcare paralegals on staff that assist our attorneys with complex medical claims. When you leave your loved one in the care of a long-term care facility, you should be secure, knowing they are safe and receiving proper care. Contact our nursing home injury and wrongful death attorneys for a free consultation.

Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC