East Bay Area Nursing Home Served Today With Two Wrongful Death Lawsuits Claiming Husband and Wife Lost Both of Their Elderly Mothers Due to Elder Abuse
WALNUT CREEK, Calif., April 24 /PRNewswire/ — The Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Law Center announced today that a local San Francisco East Bay Area nursing home was served today with two wrongful death elder abuse lawsuits filed by Nancy and Jack Roberts. Nancy and Jack Roberts live in Pacheco, California, they have been married for 42 years, they are both retired and, until recently, neither of them has ever filed a lawsuit. However, in two Contra Costa Superior Court civil suits served today on the corporate offices of Windsor Manor, a nursing home in Concord, California, both Jack and Nancy are alleging that their respective elderly mothers died as the result elder abuse and neglect by the Concord skilled nursing facility.
In her suit, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. C07-00105, Nancy Roberts alleges that Windsor Manor neglected and ignored her 91 year-old mother Doris Swearengin’s long history of multiple falls at its skilled nursing facility and failed to take proper steps to prevent further falls, including a fatal fall on January 4, 2006. Nancy Roberts alleges that just weeks before the deadly fall in January 2006, her mother had fallen in a strikingly similar fashion. Despite clearly being on notice that its 91 year-old patient was a serious fall risk, the nursing home once again failed to take appropriate steps to prevent Nancy’s mother from falling yet another time, this time fatally, according to the suit.
Among other precautions, the nursing home was supposed to have a call light within her mother’s reach, it should have been assisting her frail mother to the bathroom, it should have updated her care plan, and it should not have left her mother to fend for herself, according to Nancy Roberts’ lawsuit. Roberts alleges that the nursing home failed to take the proper and necessary precautions and, as a result, her mother very predictably fell once again, striking her head and resulting in a subdural hematoma and ultimately death. Nancy Roberts alleges in her suit, and a May 11, 2006 letter from the California Department of Health Services confirms, that the state substantiated Nancy Roberts’ complaint and issued a formal statement of deficiencies to Windsor Manor regarding the events leading up to her mother’s death.
Nancy Roberts is not the only one in her family to lose an elderly mother to Windsor Manor’s neglect, accordingly to a separate lawsuit filed by her husband and also served today on the Concord nursing home. In his suit, Contra Costa County Superior Court Case No. C07-00001, Jack Roberts alleges that his mother, 93 year-old Nellie Roberts, was also a patient at Windsor Manor and, like his wife’s mother, his mom also died as the result of substandard care at the skilled nursing facility. Mr. Roberts alleges that his mother passed away on January 11, 2005 due to respiratory failure caused by aspiration pneumonia which, according to the civil lawsuit, could and should have been prevented by the nursing staff at the skilled nursing facility. The complaint alleges that Windsor Manor, formerly known as Valley Manor, was regularly short staffed, especially on weekends, and that the facility was basically “a ghost town.” According to Jack Roberts’ lawsuit, the substandard care and lack of precautions by the staff at Windsor Manor led directly to his mother’s death.
Attorney Jay P. Renneisen, a partner at the Walnut Creek based Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Law Center, who is representing Nancy and Jack Roberts, stated that until meeting Jack and Nancy he had “never seen a situation where a nursing home’s neglect resulted in not one but two deaths in the same family.” “The Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Law Center reviewed and took on Nancy’s case after the state issued a formal deficiency regarding Windsor Manor’s obviously substandard care of Nancy’s mother, but in the process, we found that Nancy’s husband, Jack, had also lost his mother at the same facility and under suspect circumstances. When we discovered that Jack’s mother died from a highly preventable bout of aspiration pneumonia, which certainly should never have occurred while she was a patient in a skilled nursing facility, we had no choice but to advise Jack that his mother was also victimized by elder abuse and neglect by this facility,” said attorney Renneisen. “Incredibly, this same nursing home robbed both Jack and Nancy of their mothers,” added Renneisen.
In both of their lawsuits, Jack and Nancy allege that, unfortunately, when they entrusted the Concord nursing home with the care of their elderly mothers, they were not aware that Windsor Manor had a long history of providing poor care to patients. In fact, as alleged in the lawsuit, an August 7, 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article entitled “Bay Area — Bad Marks For Nursing Homes” states that a report published by Consumer Reports titled “Nursing Homes: Business As Usual” gave Windsor Manor, formerly known as Valley Manor, the dubious distinction of being one of the 12 facilities nationwide (out of 16,000 total) that made the “homes to avoid” list five consecutive times.
PDF copies of the two lawsuits, the Statement of Deficiencies from the California Department of Health issued on May 11, 2006 and the August 7, 2006 SF Chronicle article can be obtained by e-mailing Jay P. Renneisen at jay@NoElderAbuse.com or by calling the Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Law Center at 925-280-8900.
For more information regarding the Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Law Center see its website at www.NoElderAbuse.com
NURSING HOME & ELDER ABUSE LAW CENTER
ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS AT LAW
1931 San Miguel Drive, Suite 210
Walnut Creek, California 94596
Telephone: (925) 280-8900 – Facsimile: (925) 955-1601