Jeff Pitman Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Santa Fe Nursing Home on Behalf of Victim's Estate

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Feb 21, 2019 in Nursing Home Abuse

gavel over courthouse stepsOn Monday, the son of a former resident of Pacifica Senior Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home and the former director.

The lawsuit claims the facility was negligent in caring for the victim's father and this caused the father's death in 2017. The lawsuit also alleges the facility engaged in unfair trade practices and failed to report patient injuries to the state.

This is the second wrongful death lawsuit the facility has faced in only the last two years. PKSD Partner Jeff Pitman is representing the estates of both victims in these cases.

"There is a pattern of these issues occurring there at Pacifica," said Pitman. This is why residents' families want the facility to be held accountable so things will change.

Latest Victim Died from Falls, Neglect

The victim in the latest lawsuit died in early March 2017, just three days after being taken to the hospital to treat injuries from a fall. The fall was at least the fifth to occur in the five months before the victim's death.

The resident fell less than one day earlier while trying to transfer between his bed and his wheelchair. He spent at least an hour and a half on the ground before staff members found him and transported him to St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.

The next time the resident fell, within less than a day, he hit his face, breaking his nose and creating a huge gash on his forehead that needed six stitches. The hospital staff cleaned him up because nursing home staff had not attended to him in at least three months. That is why doctors discovered fungus on the man's genitalia.

Background on the Victim

The victim in this case moved into Pacifica Senior Living in 2014. He had struggled to care for himself in the year before his wife died in 2011 because he began experiencing dementia. The victim also had his left leg amputated in 2007, which left him dependent on various medications.

The victim's son chose Pacifica because it had a memory care unit for Alzheimer's patients. However, in the wrongful death lawsuit, the victim's son claims the facility engaged in false advertising about providing the highest comfort and security to residents.

Staff members were supposed to watch the victim closely because he was on blood thinners, making it more likely that he would bleed excessively if he was injured in an accident. The lawsuit claims he suffered "injuries and indignities" daily. The lawsuit says the facility made false representations about not admitting or retaining residents if it could not provide the care the resident needed.

State health inspection records for Pacifica Senior Living show that there were 74 violations in the past 13 years. These violations included failure to report falls and injuries, neglecting residents who cannot move, and providing insufficient training for new staff members.

The victim's son contacted the facility numerous times because he was concerned about the lack of care his father received. He informed the former director of the facility that his father's clothes were dirty, and he had obviously not been bathed for at least a week.

The director assured him appropriate measures were being taken. However, just one week later, the son emailed the director because he found his father sitting in a pool of urine.

First Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The first lawsuit filed in the last two years concerns the death of a resident of Pacifica in 2015. The lawsuit claims the facility did not take steps to prevent the man from falling, which caused his death.

Similar to the victim in the newest lawsuit, this resident suffered from Alzheimer's. The resident fell twice in just two weeks and was given Tylenol and put back into bed. The resident stopped eating and was dead only four months after arriving at the facility.

The victim's daughter sued the facility in September of 2017 and a trial is expected to begin in September of this year.

Contact PKSD If Your Loved One Suffered Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is a shocking form of mistreatment of the most vulnerable people in our society. If your loved one was abused or neglected, you may have legal options for pursuing compensation for the damages your loved one suffered.

Our experienced attorneys know how to build a strong case against the parties responsible for your loved one's injuries, both physical and emotional.

Attorney Jeff Pitman is a member of the Nursing Home Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice and has testified before the Wisconsin legislature about quality care in nursing facilities and holding them accountable for abuse and neglect. Pitman and attorneys Patrick O'Neill and Ben Reyes recovered an $11 million verdict for the estate of a patient who died at a New Mexico nursing home.

Schedule a free legal consultation right now. There is no cost or obligation.

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