A man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home alleging that the assisted living facility neglected his elderly mother causing her death. According to a CBS news article, Ronald Corn filed a lawsuit in connection with the death of his mother Loretta Hooker. The lawsuit states that Hooker became a resident at the Sunrise Sterling Canyon Assisted Living Center in Valencia in July 2007 as she suffered from dementia, weakness and fragility. As Hooker’s condition became better she was transferred to a part of the home that was designated for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Corn says in the lawsuit that he arrived at the nursing home on August 17, 2011 and found Hooker alone outside on a patio with no shade or supervision. He met with the center’s director to air his concerns for his mother’s safety. When Corn arrived for the meeting, he found his mother again sitting alone on the concrete patio in the sun. This time she was “unresponsive, drenched with perspiration and in obvious respiratory distress.” Hooker was taken to an area hospital in full cardiac arrest where she died from a heat stroke. An autopsy report showed that her body temperature was 103.3 at the time of death. The suit alleges nursing home neglect, elder abuse, fraud, negligent infliction of emotional distress and wrongful death.
Nursing Home Neglect
According to a report by the California Senate Office of Research, although the number of skilled nursing facilities surveyed between 2004 and 2007 remained about the same, the number of incidents involving “findings of immediate jeopardy, substandard quality of care and actual harm increased over the same period.” According to a 2008 Government Accountability Office (GAO) 1,285 nursing homes were cited in 2007 for “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to residents. Based on GAO’s statistics, California leads all other states, by far, in the number of citations. Understaffing and lack of training are the most common factors linked to nursing home abuse and neglect.
Justice for Victims and Families
Based on this news report, the elderly dementia patient was left out on a hot concrete patio without supervision possibly for hours despite complaints from her son. Incidents such as these expose the actions of nursing homes that typically put profits over the safety and well being of frail and vulnerable patients who are unable to care for themselves. Abused or neglected victims and their families would be well advised to contact an experienced California nursing home abuse lawyer who will better explain their legal rights and options, and help hold the negligent parties at these facilities accountable.