The suit, filed by the dead woman's daughter, seeks up to $18 million from Linda Vista Nursing and Rehab Center, three employees and the parent company. One of those employees has been indicted on seven felony charges.
Staff and management at an Ashland, Ore., nursing home neglected an elderly woman to the point that she developed pressure ulcers, had fungus all over her toenails and went weeks without pain medications, a lawsuit alleges.
The suit, filed by the woman’s daughter, seeks up to $18 million from Linda Vista Nursing and Rehab Center, three employees and parent company Prestige Care of Vancouver, Wash. One of those employees has been indicted on seven felony charges.
Laurie Jeandin, representing the estate of her mother, Betty White, claims the Ashland nursing home, its administrator, director of nursing and a licensed practical nurse inflicted injury and abuse on White.
In a statement, Prestige Care said the company took swift action when it learned of problems and that the company disagrees with how the allegations characterize the company’s care.
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Among the many allegations in the suit, Jeandin claims that White wasn’t given her prescribed methadone for about two weeks before she died in May 2017.
White — 85 at the time and diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and obsessive-compulsive disorder — “complained of constant pain, calling out frequently for help, and was observed grimacing and moaning,” according to the suit, filed last month in Jackson County.
A licensed practical nurse at the nursing home, David Harmin, was indicted in December on charges that he stole medications from seven residents at the nursing home, including White. He is set for a plea hearing in April, according to court records.
The suit also says Jeandin visited her mother one night in April 2017 after her brother told her White sounded incoherent on the phone. Jeandin found her mother sitting in a chair, drooling into a towel and soaked with urine.
Jeandin asked that her mother be taken immediately to a hospital, according to court records, but Harmin said White was in her normal condition and that taking her to the hospital wasn’t necessary. Jeandin insisted, and White was taken to a local emergency room.
Hospital workers found White’s brain was malfunctioning because she had been given a toxic dose of Norco, an opiate. Meanwhile, blood tests showed she hadn’t been given her prescribed methadone and Ativan, an anti-anxiety medication, according to the suit.
Hospital workers also found that White’s bra was black with mold, her toenails were covered in fungus, she had pressure ulcers on her buttocks and back, and she had a yeast infection in the folds of her abdomen, according to the suit. Nursing home records showed she hadn’t been given a bath in the seven days before she was taken to the hospital.
White was stabilized and returned to Linda Vista. The suit claims nursing-home workers didn’t give her the methadone she had been prescribed for pain over the 17 days that followed until she died.
Eight months later, Harmin told a state investigator that he had been stealing medications from multiple Linda Vista residents, including White, according to the suit.
In its statement, Prestige Care spokeswoman Kristi Herriott said: “As soon as we became aware of a possible issue with medication diversion, we took immediate action to launch a full internal investigation, which resulted in removing one nurse from all patient-facing caregiving responsibilities.”
State records show eight confirmed abuse cases at the nursing home in 2017, including failing to give medications as prescribed, failing to assure a resident is safe and failing to assure a resident’s rights.
— Fedor Zarkhin
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