Bed Sore Discovery Exposes Residential Care Facility to Criminal and Civil Penalties

When Georgia Fitsos was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in 2006, her family came to the sad realization that Georgia could no longer live alone. Too healthy for skilled nursing care, the family chose to place their mother in Broadstone Residential Facility after reading a fancy brochure that promised Georgia “can enjoy a lifestyle of elegance.”

Less than a year after her admission, Georgia’s son found his mother with a big black eye. She told him that someone hit her, but when confronted, the facility said she accidentally hit her face on the table after falling asleep in her wheelchair (Walton Law Firm currently has a very similar case). Only a month later, Georgia’s son found his mother suffering from a shortness of breath. He called 911 because the on-site Broadstone caregiver didn’t speak enough English to make the call.

When Georgia arrived at the Emergency Room doctors were stunned by what they found. A huge, Stage 4 bed sore the size of a “turkey platter” was found on her backside. It had eaten deeply into her flesh, and became infected. The infection quickly turned into sepsis, and Georgia died less than a month later.

Now, the owners of the residential care facility are facing criminal charges of neglect, in addition to being sued civilly for elder abuse and neglect. The criminal trial begins next month, and the civil trial starts before the end of the year.

While cases against assisted living and residential care facilities have become all too common, it is rare for criminal charges to be filed. It will be interesting to see what happens in this case. Hopefully, a message will be sent to the owners of these lightly-regulated elderly care homes that neglect or abuse will not be tolerated.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

The nursing home elder abuse attorneys at Walton Law Firm LLP provide free consultations to individuals and families who believe a loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect in a nursing home or residential care setting. Cases are accepted throughout Southern California.