A man, who filed a lawsuit against a San Luis Obispo nursing home, is alleging that owners understaffed their facility to save money thereby causing the death of his mother who took a fall and died of pneumonia when she was a resident there. According to a news report in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Jay Cameron reportedly filed the suit against Compass Health, a company that owns six local facilities. The lawsuit alleges that the home committed elder abuse, fraud, wrongful death, negligence and violated patient’s rights, the Tribune reports.
But an attorney for the nursing home denies any abuse or negligence. He says the woman was 97 years old after all and maybe she broke her hip just because she was weak and old. This is exactly how he was quoted in the newspaper: “When you’re 97 years old there is no way to guarantee that people don’t fall, if that’s what did happen.” Isn’t that why families entrust their loved ones to people they believe are professionals? Isn’t that exactly the reason why this facility should be held accountable more than anyone else?
Let’s look at some other interesting facts on this nursing home. Despite the attorney’s denial, the Tribune reports from state records that the home got three citations for violations just in a one-year period. In April 2007 state investigators also found deficiencies in the home, but details were not available, the article states. The lawsuit states that the nursing home cut corners in patient care and created unsanitary and dangerous living conditions for residents increasing the number of accidents and injuries suffered by residents.
As a personal injury law firm that has represented numerous victims of nursing home abuse, we know that understaffing is one of the main reasons residents are neglected in nursing homes. How can one person possibly take care of 10 people at the same time? It’s humanly impossible. But nursing home owners, a lot of times, don’t care. Fewer employees to them mean fewer paychecks and that in turn adds up to more profits.
Maybe if more victims of nursing home abuse and negligence sued these greedy entrepreneurs, we would see less of these tragic stories. Maybe hitting them in the pocket book is the best wake-up call for unscrupulous businesses that put profits ahead of people, whose families pay thousands of dollars a month hoping to get quality care for their loved ones. These lawsuits are not about money. They’re about getting justice, to right a wrong and holding people accountable for their actions.