Caregiver Charged With Crime for Bed Sore Related Death

At Walton Law Firm, we have handled numerous cases involving decubitus ulcers or bed sores, many of them resulting in the death of the patient. But the cases we handle are civil cases; a prosecution of the nursing home or other caregiver to seek money damages. We have never seen any caregiver prosecuted criminally for such neglect.

090903_jean_rudolph.jpgIn Washington State, however, the owner of an assisted living facility and an employee were charged with crimes for the neglect of Jean Rudolph, who died under their care. When Rudolph died in 2008 at the age of 87, she weighed only 68 pounds. The cause of death was related to infections that were caused by bed sores so severe that they exposed her bones, including a hip sore so severe that her hip bone jutted out of her body.

Her son, who visited her twice a week, never knew of the sores. His mother suffered from end-stage dementia and couldn’t speak or express her needs, and each time the son visited she was always under covers.

It has been alleged in the criminal indictment that more than three weeks passed before a caregiver called the son to inform him of the skin ulcers, at which point her son rushed her to the hospital emergency room.

“The ER doctor was, oh my God, putting on gloves and masks like it was the Ebola virus,” James Rudolph said. “When I first saw it, it was horrific. It was odiferous. It was definitely not a good thing.”

Three weeks later, Jean Rudolph died.

Source: KOMO news

The San Diego elder abuse and neglect lawyers at Walton Law Firm provide free consultations to individuals and families who believe a loved one has been abused or neglected in the nursing home, assisted living, board and care, or home health care setting. Call (760) 571-5500 for a free and confidential case evaluation.