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P. M. v Kindred Nursing Centers West

Attorneys at the Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates negotiated a settlement of $225,000 on behalf of the surviving family of an 85 year-old woman who died of complications from a hip fracture. The victim suffered a right hip fracture after falling at a Kindred California Care Center. Nurses witnessed the fall, but documented no injuries, did not notify a doctor or nurse, did not order x-rays and did not render any type of care; there was absolutely no documentation by the California Care Center nurses of any hip dislocation or deformity. Four days later, the victim’s nail beds were purple, her oxygen saturation was 68% and she was cold to the touch. A physician ordered that the patient be transferred to Mercy Truxton hospital for treatment, but nurses did not call the ambulance until 20 minutes later.

Upon transfer, hospital paramedics immediately noted an “obvious” hip deformity and noted that the patient was dehydrated and had dry food in her mouth. The paramedics also noted that the Kindred facility never reported the hip incident to anyone. The next day, five days after fracturing her hip, the victim died.

California Care Center staff argued that the hip injury occurred during the patient’s transfer to Mercy Truxton. However, our attorneys were able to establish that the hip fracture occurred at the California Care center five days prior to the victim’s death and that the facility had committed neglectful treatment and abuse, as the victim was malnourished, dehydrated and essentially ignored throughout her stay at the facility. Based upon the evidence, our lawyers were able to identify and prove five different forms of neglect: 1) failure to notify a physician about the fracture in a timely manner, 2) failure to prepare an accurate and timely minimum data set (MDS) and Care Plan, 3) failure to properly investigate the fracture, 4) failure to maintain adequate nutrition and 5) failure to hydrate the patient properly. Fagel attorneys linked all five of the above forms of neglect to the patient’s death, and were thus able to obtain financial compensation for the victim’s family.