Nursing Home Overdose Leads to Brain Damage

The County of San Diego paid $1.6 million to settle a case filed by Ruth Lomeo against Edgemoor Geriatric Hospital, a county-run nursing home.

According to the lawsuit, Lomeo, who was only 44, was given an overdose of fentanyl pain medication by nursing staff at Edgemoor and began to have trouble breathing. It took over 20 minutes for 911 to be called and for emergency help to arrive. It was alleged that the lack of oxygen caused brain damage, and that Lomeo now communicates like a five year old, and cannot care for herself.

The County of San Diego denies all the allegations, and states its decision to settle the case was a business decision to avoid a jury verdict.

The overuse of medications is a common problem at nursing homes, whether done negligently or intentionally. The negligent overuse of medications arises in situations like Lomeo’s, when a previous fentanyl pain patch was not removed before a new one was placed. The intentional overuse often arises when facilities use medication to alter the behavior or “restrain” a resident. Both uses are unacceptable.

Walton Law Firm LLP represents people who have been impacted by abuse or neglect in the nursing home, residential care, or assisted living setting. Cases are accepted in San Diego County, Riverside County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Los Angeles County, and consultations are free.