Fatal Bedrail Dispute Leads to Lawsuit

The Pocono Record reports that a family is suing a nursing home over the death of their father. The father was admitted to the home on what should have been a short-term stay. According to the lawsuit, the family alleges that the nursing home failed to give the care the elderly man required.

Those representing Orlando DePascale, Sr. of Wharton, New Jersey claim that staff at the Pocono Gardens Nursing home failed to provide bedrails and supervision. This lack of care caused DePascale to suffer a fall while unattended. DePascale died the next day.

A report of an inspection detailing violations completed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has a slightly different set of events.

DePascale was admitted to the nursing home on a short-term or respite stay on June 13, 2014. The 88-year-old DePascale suffered from dementia and was placed in the 40-bed memory unit. This unit is a special care unit for patients who have been diagnosed as having dementia.

The nursing home told the family that patients would be checked on regularly. The family requested bedrails to keep DePascale in bed as he had a tendency to get out of bed and wander. The nursing home staff informed the family that they did not allow bedrails and placed the patient into a bed without them.

DePascale attempted to get out of bed late in the evening on July 1st. He fell and lay on the floor for about an hour until the staff discovered him. The staff noted that he appeared disoriented and lifted him back into bed. He was not taken to a hospital.

The next day, nursing home staff found him unresponsive. He was taken to Pocono Medical Center where he was admitted to the ICU unit for a subdural hematoma. He died the following day.

In the report filed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the nursing home stated that the patient was found at about 11:30 pm and his vitals were normal. DePascale did not complain of any pain relating to the fall.

The report did note four violations: failure to report the death within a specified time frame and they also failed to perform a proper evaluation when DePascale was admitted. Two other procedural violations were noted. The facility provided proof that the violations were remedied.

Do you or a loved one believe that you are the victim of abuse or neglect while staying in a nursing facility? If so, let the skilled attorney at the law offices of Schenk Smith fight for you. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today.