Charles Bradley was ninety-three years old when his family made the difficult decision to place him in nursing care. He was admitted to the Everett Care & Rehabilitation Center, in Everett, Washington, in late 2004. Bradley lived at the facility for just over three years, before he died as the apparent result of neglect on the part of the center’s staff. A lawsuit filed by Bradley’s family alleges that untreated wound—which resulted from undiagnosed penile cancer—contributed to his death. “They trusted that the nursing home would provide the care they said they would provide… we’re not talking about extraordinary care. We’re talking about basic daily needs,” said the family’s attorney on their behalf.
According to the complaint, nursing staff noticed a breakdown of the skin in Bradley’s genital region while administering care. The attending nurses reported their finding to a care manager, but the manager allegedly went on vacation before notifying Bradley’s physician then forgot to report the injury once he was back at work. Over the course of the next four months, Bradley’s skin broke and developed into an open wound. The deterioration essentially broke down Bradley’s genitals over that time. Although Bradley experienced a steady loss of weight over that time—a strong indication of an underlying illness—no staff action was taken even after a second report to management of Bradley’s injury.
Finally, just two weeks prior to his death, Bradley’s health had deteriorated to the point that facility staff rushed him to a local emergency room. It was then that hospital doctors discovered his injury, which was later diagnosed as progressive penile cancer. By that time, his wound had become infected, a complication that led to his death two weeks later. The family’s lawsuit alleges that basic care on the part of nursing facility staff would have uncovered the severity of his condition so that treatment could have been initiated. Although an in-house investigation determined no improprieties in the facility’s level of care, the center was cited for failing to meet quality of care requirements set by federal law.
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility is difficult enough without having to worry about the quality of care received. Nursing home patients often have difficulty communicating abuse and neglect to their loved ones or to authorities, so it is extremely important to pay close attention for warning signs. Signs of nursing home neglect or abuse include poor hygiene of residents, residents wearing unclean clothing, inappropriate dress for conditions, conditions hazardous for the elderly, bed sores, wounds and sudden weight loss or dehydration. The appearance of depression and complaints of being restrained for extended periods of time also may indicate nursing home malpractice.
Our attorneys have successfully defended the rights of thousands of elder care abuse victims and their families. If you, or someone you know, have been a victim of elder care abuse, please contact us at ElderCareNeglect.com for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to assist in all aspects of your litigation.