Nursing home staff fails to follow procedures to prevent pressure sores. Wrongful death. $1.6M arbitration award.

Summary

Nursing home fails to turn patient over regularly, bed sores develop and become fatal.

The Case

  • Case Name: Porter v. Country Villa Huntington Drive Healthcare Center, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Arbitration A195170-28
  • Type of Action: Elder Abuse, Negligence, Wrongful Death
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Arbitrator, Judge Judith Chirlin (Ret.)
  • Plaintiffs:
    Patricia Porter
    Linda Solis
  • Defendants:
    AG Facilities Operations, LLC
    AG Arcadia, LLC dba Country Villa Huntington Drive Healthcare Center
    Country Villa Service Corp.
  • Type of Result: Arbitration Award

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,646,578.17
  • Economic Damages:

    $83,750.73

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 4 days.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs – granted. Defendant’s Motion to Vacate the Arbitration Award - denied.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Moran Law by Michael F. Moran and Lisa Trinh Flint, Santa Ana.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Garcia Artigliere Medby & Faulkner by Stephen Garcia, Long Beach. (For AG Facilities Operations, LLC and AG Arcadia, LLC dba Country Villa Huntington Drive Healthcare Center.)

    Wilson Getty LLP by William Wilson, San Diego. (For Country Villa Service Corp. dba Country Villa Health Services.)

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Michael Bain, M.D., wound care, Newport Beach.

    Mary Ransbury, R.N., nursing, Huntington Beach.

    Edward Barton, M.D., Pasadena. (Treating Neurologist.)

    Robert Siew, M.D.,  Los Angeles. (Treating Internist.)

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Karl Steinberg, M.D., internal medicine, Oceanside.

    Jerilyn Ratto, R.N., nursing.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

     

     

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Ms. Porter was transferred from Methodist Hospital into Country Villa Huntington Drive Healthcare Center on July 4, 2012 for continued antibiotic treatment for her left foot ulcer. She was admitted with no skin breakdown other than her left foot ulcer. Defendants assessed Ms. Porter as a high risk for skin breakdown and developed a Care Plan that required the nursing staff to keep Ms. Porter clean and dry, showered at least 2 times a week, and turn and reposition her at least every two hours. Based on the evidence presented, the Arbitrator found that Ms. Porter was not turned every 2 hours even after the family complained to the Director of Nursing. Defendant’s nursing staff failed to chart when the turning was done in spite of requirements in their own policies and procedures that the nursing assistant document the date, time and position change.

     

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiffs contend that decedent, Patricia Porter, was at risk for skin breakdown and defendants failed to turn and reposition her at least every two hours which caused her to develop a Stage 4 pressure sore on her coccyx and bilateral heels. Ms. Porter died within 4 months of her discharge from Country Villa Huntington Drive Healthcare Center from sepsis from her Stage 4 coccyx pressure sore.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants argued that the pressure sore was unavoidable.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Coccyx Stage 4 pressure ulcer, death.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $83,750.73

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $929,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $250,000

Additional Notes

The Arbitrator determined that the sore was avoidable upon admission. The Arbitrator further found that defendants were in a joint venture in operating Country Villa Huntington Drive Healthcare Center based upon the management agreement.

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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