The now-closed The Healthcare at Foster Creek nursing home is the site of the state’s largest coronavirus outbreak and the highest number of fatalities. To date, 119 residents or employees tested positive for coronavirus, and 29 people succumbed to the disease. The family of an 83-year old resident who died of COVID-19 in April has filed a lawsuit alleging the facility neglected and abused him, leading to his demise.
While the family of David Parker seeks $2.4 million in compensation from the nursing home’s owners, St. Jude Operating Company and its management company, Benicia Senior Living, they are not the first family to file a lawsuit. Just days earlier, Angela Brown, the daughter of another resident, filed suit claiming the facility neglected her mother. Judith Jones, 75, died of COVID-19, and her daughter’s lawsuit states the defendants acted with “conscious indifference to the health, safety, and welfare of Ms. Jones.” This lawsuit seeks $1.8 million from the defendants.
Both Parker and Jones suffered from dementia. In April, during the height of the illnesses and deaths, a representative of Benicia Senior Living said many of the residents have dementia and chronic health issues, making their care “challenging.”
The Oregon Department of Human Services (“DHS”) has since suspended The Healthcare at Foster Creek’s license.
Parker’s daughter Davina termed the nursing home’s treatment of her father, “deplorable.” She learned of her dad’s death via a Facebook post on the nursing home’s page. After calling the nursing home, she was told there was no record of his death. Davina Parker then started calling local hospitals. She eventually found the one where he was admitted and was informed of his demise. The nursing home had never told his family that he was in the hospital.
While in the nursing home, David Parker was bedbound, dealing with numerous pressure wounds, or bedsores. He was suffering from malnutrition and battling a staph infection, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that medical records were not maintained accurately. It also states that staff members did not practice social distancing correctly.
As the crisis escalated, the DHS launched an investigation into The Healthcare at Foster Creek’s practices. Their report found that there was insufficient staff, and the facility did not properly train employees in infection control.
Staff members moved between units of residents who had tested positive and those who tested negative. Many employees worked at other nursing home facilities, thereby potentially spreading the coronavirus.
The Virus Enters the Locked Unit
Angela Brown was concerned about her mother. Jones lived in a locked unit at the nursing home for those with dementia and other mental health problems. She was assured by staff that workers were not going between units, according to the lawsuit.
Theoretically, that meant lessening the odds of the coronavirus in her mother’s unit. In fact, Brown’s lawsuit states that workers were crossing between units, as per the state investigation. This made this vulnerable population even more likely to become exposed.
There is no question the coronavirus targets the elderly and those with underlying conditions. As deaths continue to mount nationally, it is clear that nursing homes, in general, could have done so much more to prevent this horror. Basic infection control may have saved thousands of lives.
Did a Loved One Die of Coronavirus in a Florida Nursing Home?
As noted above, coronavirus outbreaks in our nursing homes are largely preventable. If a loved one died in a nursing home or assisted living facility because of coronavirus or coronavirus complications, we can help. For more information, visit our nursing home neglect page. Ready to see if you have a case? Contact us online, by email [hidden email] or by phone 833.201.1555. All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege. Cases handled nationwide.
[In addition to coronavirus COVID-19 cases, we consider other nursing home neglect cases including those involving serious bodily injury, sexual assault, death and bedsores (pressure ulcers). If we can’t help, someone in our network probably can. We have lawyers licensed in many states including Florida.]