Two men died after developing severe pressure ulcers that became infected while they were patients at the Eureka and Seaview rehabilitation and Wellness Centers.
In most instances pressure ulcers are entirely avoidable and can form when patients are not moved regularly by nursing stuff. Wheelchair- or bed-bound patients can have circulation cut at pressure points if they are not moved, causing underlying tissue to become damaged and form an ulcer.
The two nursing homes as well as their owning company Brius Healthcare Services, their administrative company Rockport Healthcare Services and Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz have been named as defendants in the complaints. Attempts to contact Rockport and Brius as well as their representing attorney James Yee were not returned Wednesday.
The lawsuits come after Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center was fined $160,000 by the state last month for patient care and staffing violations in 2016, which are currently being appealed by the nursing home.
The latest lawsuit filed March 10 alleges that the Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center failed to check the deceased’s residents skin.
it is alleged that the nursing home became aware that their deceased resident had developed ulcers on his tailbone in August 2016. By November, the ulcer had dramatically worsened.
About eight months earlier, the 76-year-old resident died at the same hospital from an infected ulcer on his tailbone, according to the complaint.
The resident was admitted to Seaview Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Humboldt Hill in November 2015 after being treated for an aortic valve replacement, according to the complaint. He did not have an ulcer when he was admitted, the complaint states, but was known to be at risk for ulcer formation in his resident care plan. the family was never informed of the pressure ulcer. nor was the physician informed
The complaint alleges that Seaview did not have the required nursing staff under state law to ensure Sorensen received the care identified in his care plan.
The California Department of Public Health issued two state enforcement actions against Seaview in August 2016 for failing to report their residents health status changes and failing to provide treatment for or prevent a pressure sore from forming. The facility was fined $40,000 for these violations, but the nursing home has appealed the fines, according to the department website.
According to the Medicare nursing home comparison website, Seaview nursing staff provide an average of 18 minutes of time per resident each day compared to the state average of one hour and 57 minutes. Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center has one hour and 29 minutes of nursing care time per patient per day.
This does not include certified nursing assistant time that patients receive, which is two hours or more at the two facilities, according to the Medicare website.
Brius is based in Los Angeles and has acquired more than 80 nursing homes throughout the state since 2006. The company acquired five nursing homes in Humboldt County — Eureka, Seaview, Fortuna, Granada and Pacific rehabilitation and wellness centers — from Skilled Healthcare Group in 2011,
Last year, the Department of Public Health denied Brius Healthcare’s applications to acquire five nursing homes because of the company’s history of health care violations. Former California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued an emergency motion to block Brius from acquiring 19 nursing homes in 2014, referring to the company as a “serial violator” of state health care laws.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.