Wrongful death suit for death of man in senior living facility

Here at Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., we represent elderly individuals who are the victims of abuse and neglect as well as their families in the pursuit of justice. In an extreme case, a wrongful death suit may be called for.

Santa Fe wrongful death lawsuit

In September, the surviving family members of a man who died while in the care of a Santa Fe senior living facility filed a suit in state court for the wrongful death of their father, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and lived there, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The article describes two documented falls after which allegedly the patient was not taken to the hospital for evaluation, despite a lump on his head and extensive bruising. He reportedly ceased eating and speaking and developed difficulty breathing, after which he was found unresponsive shortly before he died.

The autopsy named the cause of death as "blunt-force head trauma." The investigator noted that the patient probably had had bleeding inside his brain for over a month, before the patient died.

Citing ongoing abuse and negligence, allegations in the suit include:

  • Failure to get emergency care after his first fall
  • Failure to prevent falls
  • Administration of medication that was not advised for dementia patients
  • Inadequate monitoring for a blood disorder
  • Misrepresentation of the quality of care

Citations for deficiencies

The Santa Fe New Mexican also describes a long history of ongoing, serious regulatory violations, including failure to do background checks on workers, both under a previous owner and the present one. Citing research by ProPublica, the article notes that New Mexico is tied with Kentucky for the dubious distinction of the "highest average rate of deficiencies per home" of those that accept Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Remain vigilant

New Mexicans with loved ones in senior care facilities and nursing homes must try to monitor conditions for signs of neglect or abuse, including:

  • Bruising
  • Cuts
  • Abrupt changes in behavior or mood
  • Withdrawal or depression
  • Medication errors
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

Do not hesitate to contact police or call an ambulance if appropriate for immediate safety. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the situation and consider all potential legal remedies.

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