Lawsuit Filed After Police Investigate Nursing Home Death

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Jan 05, 2011 in Nursing Home Abuse

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee personal injury lawyer Jeffrey Pitman, of Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice, S.C., filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Milwaukee man who died at Christopher East Health Rehabilitation, a Five Star Quality Care facility, in Milwaukee.

The resident, a 47-year-old male, was admitted to Christopher East after being diagnosed with chronic airway obstruction, a condition that requires a tracheostomy. On March 18, 2005, at approximately 4:13 a.m., the resident was at the Christopher East nurse’s station speaking with family members on the telephone when he notified the nurse that he was having difficulty breathing. He informed the nurse that he needed to have his tracheostomy suctioned to clear his airway and ease his breathing. Despite his request, the nurse did not inform the respiratory therapist of the patient’s request until 5:00 a.m. Shortly after 5 a.m., he was found dead on the floor of his room from asphyxia.

An investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services revealed conflicting reports by the facility’s nursing staff. One nurse reported seeing the resident at the nurse’s station and hearing his request for suctioning at approximately 4:45 a.m. while another nurse reported seeing him and hearing his request for suctioning at approximately 4:00 a.m. The Milwaukee City Police Department was called in to investigate the events of the sudden death.

The investigation used the nursing home’s phone records to discover that the resident’s phone call was placed at 4:09 a.m. indicating that the nurse knew of the resident’s request for suctioning well before the time she told the state investigator.

The lawsuit, filed in Circuit Court of Milwaukee County, alleges that Five Star Quality Care and Christopher East Health Rehabilitation failed to monitor, assess, and ensure that the resident received the necessary services to keep him safe and failed to immediately respond to the resident’s request for suctioning.

The facility incurred a $58,100 fine by the state Bureau of Quality Assurance for deficient practices tied to the death. Christopher East Health Rehabilitation closed in 2005.

In the event that your family loses a loved one due to the negligence of nursing home facility staff, it's important to know your legal options. The nursing home abuse lawyers at PKSD have many years handling nursing home abuse lawsuits against facilities and also the insurance companies that they use for insurance coverage. For more information, call our team of legal professionals today for your free consultation.

PKSD - No upfront fees if we handle your claim. Ph: 877-877-2228.

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