Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers and the Estate of Janet Gloria Wallace have filed a lawsuit against Life Care Centers of America, Medina Operations, Forest Lee Preston, and Medina Medical Investors in the wrongful death of Ms. Wallace. (Update: Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers now has two additional lawsuits filed against the Life Care Centers of Medina. You can access those articles here and here.)
Janet Wallace was a 63-year-old woman who resided at the Life Care Center of Medina in Medina, Ohio. She had a known history of dementia, muscle weakness, and seizures. She was a known fall risk and the Life Care Center of Medina should have been aware of this. Yet, she continued to fall several times until she suffered from a hip fracture.
This hip fracture required surgery. According to the lawsuit, due to the poor care that Janet Wallace received and the falls, she lost 15 pounds, her health significantly declined, and she passed away on December 31, 2018.
You can read the full complaint here.
The defendants in this lawsuit, Life Care Centers of America and Forest L. Preston, utilize a for profit model where the primary goal of the nursing home or care facility is to make a profit. This is measured by revenues minus expenses. Their biggest revenue source is residents, and they counter the expense of care for these residents by limiting the number of care providers to these residents. They are in control of how these residents are cared for.
According to the lawsuit mentioned above, this means:
As the result of this control, Defendants make decisions that affect the day- to-day care of Life Care Center of Medina residents, such as the resources available for providing nursing staff and care to residents like Janet Wallace, meaning they are responsible for the foreseeable harm that results from careless decisions while voluntarily exercising that control.
Understaffing is a common practice of nursing homes, one that residents and their families should be aware of and watch out for.
Negligence and Recklessness
When a resident moves into a nursing home, the parties (the resident and/or their families and the nursing home) agree that that a service will be performed for payment. In this case, the nursing home was aware that Janet Wallace was at risk for falls.
It is commonly known in the healthcare profession that residents, like Janet, with dementia, seizure disorders, muscle weakness, unsteady gait, and a history of falling are at an increased risk for falling.
According to the lawsuit, the Life Care Center of Medina targets residents with memory disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. The lawsuit states:
People with memory disorders are known to be at an increased risk of falling for, among other reasons, gait-related disturbances that cause unsteadiness and weakness, short and long-term memory disorders, loss of impulse control, lack of insight into what actions are safe and unsafe, and related behaviors.
In addition to dementia and Alzheimer’s, Janet Wallace had numerous other risk factors for falling including prior falls, advanced age, cognitive decline, multiple medication usage, and frailty.
Janet Wallace depended on the Life Care Center of Medina for care and they failed her. She was only 63 years old when she passed away. They knew or should have known that she was a high risk for falls and cared for her properly to prevent future falls from occurring.
Where are the Life Care Centers of America Located?
Life Care Center of Medina
2400 Columbia Road
Medina, OH 44256
Life Care Center of Westlake
26520 Center Ridge Road
Westlake, OH 44145
Life Care Center of Elyria
1212 South Abbe Road
Elyria, OH 44035
The Abbewood Retirement Center
1210 South Abbe Road
Elyria, OH 44035
Mayfair Village Nursing Care Center
300 Bethel Road
Columbus, OH 43220
Mayfair Village Retirement Center
3011 Hayden Road
Columbus, OH 43235
What’s the Purpose of a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The family has instituted suit against Life Care Centers of America. A wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio is brought on behalf of the surviving family members. The family hopes that this lawsuit will bring awareness to mistreatment at nursing homes and will prevent future injuries and assaults on nursing homes residents.