Colorado Man Dies Due to Rocky Ford Nursing Home’s Negligence.

Henry Frazier was a patient at Pioneer Healthcare, a nursing home in Rocky Ford, Colorado.  Frazier’s family first checked him into Pioneer in May 2009.   Frazier was suffering from his longtime Parkinson’s disease when he was admitted.

Nutrition deficits and other challenges from Parkinson’s put Frazier at risk for bedsores and other nursing complications, and the nursing home was required by federal and Colorado law to have a care plan in place for Frazier.  A nursing home aide mentioned to Frazier’s family in September of 2010 that he had developed a small sore, but that they were watching it.  By late September, the aide told the family that the wound was getting bigger.  The son finally saw the severity of the wound – a fist-sized necrotic abscess – and demanded that Frazier be sent to the hospital.  Frazier nevertheless died on December 3, 2010.

Frazier’s family now asserts that the nurse’s negligence was the real cause of death.  A medical malpractice expert found that Frazier had suffered 16 facility-acquired infections and 34 related injuries.  Stage 4 bedsores, from which Frazier suffered, are considered to be “never events,” included with electrocuting a patient or amputating the wrong limbs in terms of negligence.  The family asserts that they were never told how sick their father was, or how bad the bed sore was.  When the family reported the wound to the police, state Adult Protective Services and state health department, however, no action was taken.

Though the family’s lawyer asserts that there is substantiated evidence that the facility failed to properly assess or treat the resident who was already at risk for pressure sores, the state nursing home investigators produced no citation and no penalty.  The investigators concluded that there was not substantiated deficient practice.  Patient advocates, however, believe that the state health departments go far too easy on corporate owners, even in the most egregious of cases.  The nursing home defends its case by arguing that it was the Parkinson’s disease, and not the bedsores, that caused Frazier’s death.  They assert that all care orders were followed.

The family’s lawyer, a nursing home expert, reviewed the evidence and believes that the care for Frazier was well below acceptable standards, and that the home used outdated wound treatments, failed to shift Frazier’s weight to avoid sores, failed to chart his care, and didn’t raise questions about the “appalling wound” until the son pressured them to do so.  In January of 2011, the nursing home did get cited for 27 deficiencies in infection control, avoidance of patient hazards and incomplete care plans.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed on Frazier’s behalf.  The jury was much more sympathetic to Frazier’s case than the state, awarding a judgment of $3.2 million.  However, the judgment is not guaranteed because Colorado state law caps damages for wrongful death cases at $300,000.  However, the family attorney is fighting to raise that cap by arguing that this case went beyond negligence and was instead “recklessness.”

Unfortunately, Massachusetts nursing home neglect and abuse frequently fails to be recognized because the victims are incapable of showing their pain or expressing the abuse or neglect on their own.  It is, therefore, critical that loved ones be watchful for any warning signs of Massachusetts elder abuse and neglect.  If you have any suspicion at all that a relative might be the victim of Massachusetts nursing home neglect and abuse, call one of our Boston nursing home abuse lawyers without delay at 617-787-3700.  Our Massachusetts elder neglect attorney specialists and Boston, MA nursing home abuse lawyer experts are here to help you. Our Massachusetts elder neglect accidental death attorney professionals are available 24/7 at 617-787-3700 and are highly skilled with respect to Massachusetts and federal neglect and abuse law.  Our Boston, MA nursing home abuse law office and Boston, MA elder neglect and abuse lawyer professionals are widely recognized for their exceptional skills and talents in handling Massachusetts elder abuse cases and Massachusetts personal injury cases.

Please call our Boston, MA law firm today.  Our Massachusetts elder neglect attorney advocates are available 24/7 to help you at 617-787-3700.  Our Boston, MA nursing home abuse wrongful death lawyer professionals will fight tirelessly to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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