According to an article on the local news channel 11Alive.com, Rebecca Zeni, a former model, died after contracting scabies at the Shepard Hill nursing home in 2015. The article reports that the 93 year old woman was the victim in this horrific case of nursing home abuse in Lafayette, Georgia. The family of Rebecca have filed a wrongful death case against the nursing home for failing to prevent this horrible outbreak and for their failure to medically treat the outbreak.
The woman was known for her beauty and her health was neglected to the point where she was basically eaten alive by scabies mites.
WARNING: The following photo provided by 11Alive.com is GRAPHIC. VIEWERS BE ADVISED!
The article reports that Forensic Pathologist Dr. Kris Sperry states:
“This is one of the most horrendous things I’ve ever seen in my career as a forensic pathologist,” said Dr. Kris Sperry told 11Alive about Zeni’s autopsy report.
The resident had contracted scabies. Scabies is a contagious, itchy rash that is caused by tiny burrowing mites. According to Medicinenet.com, the following are known facts about Scabies:
- Direct skin-to-skin contact is the mode of transmission.
- A severe and relentless itch is the predominant symptom of scabies.
- Sexual contact is the most common form of transmission among sexually active young people, and scabies has been considered by many to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD), although not all cases are transmitted sexually.
- Signs and symptoms of scabies include a skin rash composed of small red bumps and blisters that affects specific areas of the body. Other symptoms can include tiny red burrows on the skin and relentless itching. The itchy skin leads to frequent scratching, which may predispose the skin to secondary infections.
- Treatment includes oral or topical scabicidal drugs.
- Over-the-counter remedies or home remedies are not effective in eliminating scabies.
You can get more information on scabies here.
The Shepard Hill nursing home has been accused of several infractions over the last few years. According to the article, there were over three dozen infractions over a three year period. Infractions included the following: medication errors, putting residents in immediate jeopardy, and failing to maintain equipment utilized by residents.
The article reports that the Georgia Department of Community Health has threatened to take away Medicaid funding. This tactic/solution, along with fines, is an attempt to hold nursing homes accountable through punishing them financially. Often times though, nursing homes are owned by larger corporations. According to the article, Pruitt Health, the corporation that owns Shepard Hill and 56 other nursing homes, has collected hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid funding. It also scores WAY below average in standards of care.
According to the article, Kathy Floyd, the executive director of Georgia’s Department of Aging, states the following:
“People need to realize that they need to make this a priority, to make this better,” said Floyd “You pretty much get what you pay for. We do need more staffing. We need more training. We need more people go in an inspect the nursing home.”
Understaffing and poor training is NO excuse for this kind of negligence. This is absolutely terrifying!
What is a Wrongful Death Case?
When a nursing home’s carelessness leads to injury, the injured resident has a personal injury case. When that injury causes the resident’s death—whether immediately, or over time—the resident’s family has a case, too, called a “wrongful death” case.
While the resident’s case is for pain and suffering, in Ohio, the wrongful death damages for the resident’s family involves their loss of relationship and mental anguish—including grief—from losing their loved one. The wrongful death case is based on a statute, Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2125.
If your loved one has been the victim of a potential wrongful death case, please contact me. You can comment below or you can fill out a confidential form here. This is a complicated process and I want to help you determine if the nursing home needs to be held accountable for your loved one’s death.
You can read the full article referenced above here.