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Negligence at California care facility causes elderly woman's death

California health care professionals must provide constant care to their patients, especially when caring for the elderly. For this reason, hospital administrators are required to provide adequate staffing to cover all of the patients’ needs. Unfortunately, some hospitals fail to schedule enough caregivers for each hospital shift, and they sometimes face costly wrongful death lawsuits as a result.

An 82-year-old woman spent five years in an assisted living facility in northern California, where she was treated for Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the facility apparently didn’t have enough caregivers to properly care for the patients in the woman’s unit. As a result, nurses and other staff members did not turn the patient over as often as they should have, and the woman developed severe bed sores, which likely contributed to her death. It is possible that her mental condition prevented her from complaining of bed sores until it was too late. 

The woman had moved out of the facility shortly before her death; nevertheless, the woman’s family received a total of $27 million from the facility to compensate for the woman’s suffering as well as their legal expenses. The hospital defended its practice, alleging that it provided the woman with outstanding, attentive care. It is unknown if any other accusations of inadequate care have been made against the company’s facilities.

The loss of a loved one due to hospital negligence is devastating for the victim’s family members. It is important for all medical patients and assisted living residents to receive exceptional health care. Victims of hospital negligence may be entitled to compensation. In these circumstances, working with an attorney may be helpful. 

Source: Sacramento Bee, “Judge upholds $23M award in Calif. bed sore death,” June 12, 2013