Patient neglect is claimed when woman suffering from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s suffers repeated falls in nursing home.
- Case Name: Arcelia Martinez v. Shlomo Rechnitz; San Gabriel Healthcare & Wellness Centre, LP; G4 Wellness GP, LLC; Rockport Administrative Services, LLC; Steven Stroll
- Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 21STCV40440
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, August 10, 2022
- Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, November 03, 2021
- Type of Case: Elder Abuse
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Daniel S. Murphy
Plaintiffs: Arcelia Martinez
Defendants: Shlomo RechnitzSan Gabriel Healthcare & Wellness Centre, LPG4 Wellness GP, LLCRockport Administrative Services, LLCSteven Stroll
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $4,357,763.40
Award as to each Defendant:
San Gabriel: $71,552.68
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
- Jury Polls: 9-3 liability; 12-0 punitive damages
Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Garcia & Artigliere by Stephen M. Garcia and William M. Artigliere, Long Beach.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Cowdrey Jenkins by Sean Cowdrey and Spencer Jenkins, Camarillo.
Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Gregory Yoshida, M.D., orthopedics, Torrance.
Charlotte Shepard, nursing.
Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
Heidi Capela, RN, nursing.
Sonja Rosen, M.D., geriatrics.
Facts and Background
Facts and Background:
Plaintiff was admitted to Ivy Creek Healthcare and Wellness Centre in 2011 because her family could no longer provide the care she needed at home. Upon admission, she suffered from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia, and needed assistance with all activities of daily living.
Despite facility staff being aware through assessment information, family information as well as physician notes and orders that plaintiff was a high fall risk, the facility failed to create and implement proper care plans to prevent her from falling. As a result, she suffered eleven falls throughout her residency, with the final fall causing a leg fracture.
Additionally, plaintiff suffered severe stage 2 pressure ulcers due to a pattern of understaffing in the facility which prevented staff from providing necessary and legally required care. In an unfortunate effort to cover-up the facility’s negligence, nurses concealed plaintiff’s conditions from her family, physician and legal representative, and deceitfully told them nothing was wrong.
The lawsuit asserted that plaintiff’s injuries were a result of the facility’s plan to cut costs at the expense of its residents. Integral to this plan was the practice and pattern of staffing the facility with an insufficient number of personnel, many of whom were not properly trained or qualified to care for the elders and/or dependent adults whose lives were entrusted to them. In fact, a charge nurse caring for plaintiff on the day of her final fall confirmed this reality in testimony before the jury. This mechanism to reduce labor costs predictably resulted in plaintiff suffering from prolonged abuse and neglect.
That plaintiff was an elderly person in the end of life and no interventions would have prevented her from falling.
Injuries and Other Damages
Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $500,000
- Defendant §998 Offer: $475,000