Minnesota Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

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Neglect of Resident by St. Mark’s Nursing Home in Austin, Minnesota Causes Fracture

Neglect of Resident by St. Mark’s Nursing Home in Austin, Minnesota Causes Fracture

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 22, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at St. Mark’s Lutheran Home in Austin, Minnesota. A complaint was filed with the Department alleging that St. Mark’s Lutheran Home’s nursing staff transferred a resident in a manner not in accordance with the resident’s care plan, resulting in a fracture to the resident’s left humerous.

The Department investigated the matter and found that the resident had left-sided weakness as a result of a stroke. The resident’s care plan required that the resident be transferred by two staff with an EZ Stand. In May 2014, St. Mark’s Lutheran Home nursing staff attempted to transfer the resident from a wheelchair to the toilet using the EZ Stand, without the assistance of another staff. As a result, the resident fell to the floor, from a height of approximately two feet fracturing the left humerous. The resident experienced a significant change in condition as a result of the fall. The MDH determined that the care giver was responsible for neglect. [Case no. H5369056].

This is not the first investigation of St. Mark’s Lutheran Home by the MDH. In May 2011, the MDH substantiated allegations of neglect when St. Mark’s nursing staff failed to provide adequate supervision which resulted in a resident fall with injuries. [Case no. H5369049]

Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 61-bed nursing home facility. Medicare has assigned an overall rating to St. Mark’s Lutheran Home as a “below average” facility. In addition, Medicare has assigned an overall rating to St. Mark’s Lutheran Home as a “much below average” facility based on the government’s health inspections of the facility. Deficiencies cited by Medicare include St. Mark’s Lutheran Home’s failure to provide enough nurses to care for every resident and failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care, among other failures.

Click here to learn more details about St. Mark’s Lutheran Home.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Kosieradzki Smith Case Featured in the News

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 22, 2014

Star Tribune published an investigation article on the front page of this past Sunday’s newspaper, entitled “Care aides get little to no training for life-and-death tasks.” The Star Tribune article focuses on the lack of training and supervision provided to the care aides who are responsible for the health and well-being of vulnerable patients.

The article features a Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm case currently pending in Hennepin County.  Our clients, the family of Kenneth Ell seek to hold the St. John Home care facility accountable for causing his wrongful death. Here are some of the points from the article:

  • “With home caregivers asked to perform more complex and risky tasks, the absence of training and supervision has sometimes led to fatal results. [Our client] Lisa Lassen is still haunted by the pained cries of her father, as an infection from a foot wound spread through his body, consuming his organs. ‘I will never forget his moaning and yelling for as long as I live,’ Lassen said. The worst part, said Lassen, is living with the belief that his death two years ago was ‘completely avoidable.’’’
  • Her father, … a retired railroad worker with diabetes and early dementia, developed a foot infection soon after entering St. John Home Care, a small group home that employed personal care attendants. The Ell family chose the home, in a neighborhood of Minnetonka, in part because it seemed more intimate than a nursing facility and advertised ‘specialized diabetic care’ and ‘wound and foot care’ on its website.”
  • In sworn testimony, a former personal care attendant at the home described a chaotic atmosphere. The caregiver, Jessica Crawford, said she watched as a staff member reused hypodermic needles for injecting insulin into diabetic residents, and said her training consisted of being told to watch some videos. The group home’s owner, a nurse, visited ‘maybe once in a blue moon,’ she said. ‘Most of the employees didn’t know what they were doing or didn’t carry through with their jobs correctly,’ Crawford, who no longer works at the home, said in sworn testimony.”
  • “Lassen said staff failed to detect obvious signs that her father had a serious infection. He had difficulty walking, complained of foot pain and became increasingly lethargic, Lassen said. When a laboratory report revealed that Ell had an elevated white blood cell count, indicating an infection, she said three-and-a-half days passed before the staff sent the lab report to a physician’s clinic.”
  • “By the time Ell was admitted to a hospital, it was too late. The infection had spread so rapidly that, after his lower right leg was amputated, he died of multi-system organ failure. His 89-year-old mother was so overcome with grief that she threw herself on his lifeless body as it lay sprawled on the hospital bed.”
  • “The Minnesota Department of Health investigated Ell’s death last year and found that the group home had failed to appropriately treat the client’s diabetes and follow up on the lab report. The facility was cited for neglect. ‘It makes me so incredibly mad,’ said Lassen,… “I believe 100 percent that my father would still be alive today had he been treated by licensed and trained professionals.”

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

 

Joel Smith Selected to The Best Lawyers in America

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 19, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Joel Smith has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

“Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.” Click here to learn more about Best Lawyers.

“Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer-review. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer-review survey is directly related to the quality of its voting pool.”  Click here to learn more about Best Lawyers’ methodology process.

Joel and the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represent clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by wrongdoers, including nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe you or your loved one has been harmed by another’s wrongful conduct, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Firm News, Firm News

Mark Kosieradzki Selected to The Best Lawyers in America

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 19, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Mark Kosieradzki has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

“Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.” Click here to learn more about Best Lawyers.

“Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer-review. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer-review survey is directly related to the quality of its voting pool.”  Click here to learn more about Best Lawyers’ methodology process.

Mark and the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represent clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by wrongdoers, including nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe you or your loved one has been harmed by another’s wrongful conduct, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Firm News, Firm News

Specialty Care Group Staff Neglects Resident

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 13, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the Specialty Care Group, a home care provider in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that the staff providing 24 hour care was unable to provide adequate care to their resident. The staff was not able to manage tube feedings, and the resident was found positioned inappropriately and one staff member was found drunk and passed out in the resident’s bathroom.

The MDH investigated the matter and found that the staff member began drinking alcohol while on duty and failed to provide the care and supervision necessary to maintain the residents’ physical health and safety. The MDH determined that the care giver is responsible for neglect of the facility’s resident. [Case no. HL27391001]

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Elderly Abused at 1 in 3 Nursing Homes

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 13, 2014

According to ABC News, a congressional report released that reports of serious, physical, sexual and verbal abuse are “numerous” among the nation’s nursing homes.

The study, prepared by the minority (Democratic and Independent) staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, finds that 30 percent of nursing homes in the United States — 5,283 facilities — were cited for almost 9,000 instances of abuse over a recent two-year period, from January 1999 to January 2001.

The report documents that the common problems included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. The report also documents some instances of residents being punched, slapped, choked or kicked by staff members or other residents and has caused injuries such as fractured bones or lacerations.

Click here to read the full article.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by Extendicare’s nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact theKosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   News

Extendicare’s Financials Improve After Reaching $42.2 Million Settlement with U.S. Government

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 7, 2014

MarketWatch reported yesterday afternoon that Extendicare’s review for the second quarter of 2014 was $531.6 million, which represents a $13.4 million increase over the same period last year.

MarketWatch reports that Extendicare Health Services, Inc. reached a tentative settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and multiple states regarding the government’s investigations and claims that have been pending since 2010. Extendicare, of course, denies that it did anything illegal or engaged in any wrongdoing.

Pursuant to the terms of the tentative settlement, Extendicare will make a lump-sum payment of $38 million in the the third or fourth quarter of 2014. Extendicare’s results for the second quarter of 2014 reflect a provision of $42.2 million (US$39 million) related to the tentative settlement obligation and other related costs.

The tentative settlement also provides for Extendicare to enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the government, which will require Extendicare to maintain a compliance program at all of its U.S. skilled nursing centers and related rehabilitation operations designed to ensure compliance with federal and state health care program requirements.

MarketWatch reports that Extendicare does not expect the settlement to have a material adverse effect on the company’s business or long-term financial position.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Extendicare and the performance of its nursing home facilities in Minnesota.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by Extendicare’s nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Extendicare

Keystone Bluffs Employee Financially Exploits Residents

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 6, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of financial exploitation concerns at the Keystone Bluffs Assisted Living Facility, in Duluth, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that the Keystone Bluffs employee financially exploited residents by stealing their money and jewelry.

The MDH investigated the matter and found that the employee had taken almost $2,000.00 in cash and jewelry from five residents at the facility without their permission. The incident happened over a two-week span.  The MDH determined that the caregiver is responsible for the financial exploitation of the facility’s resident.  [Case no. HL21036007]

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Brightstar Healthcare of Wayzata Employee Financially Exploits Resident

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 6, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of financial exploitation concerns at the Brightstar Healthcare of Wayzata, a home care facility in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that a resident was financially exploited when the employee used the resident’s credit card to make payments for their own use.

The MDH investigated the matter and found that the employee used the resident’s credit card to make a rent payment, and also used the credit card on several occasions over an eight-month period to purchase gift cards for their own use. The MDH determined that the caregiver is responsible for financial exploitation of the facility’s resident.  [Case no. HL27083001]

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Mark Kosieradzki Gives Two Lectures at National Convention

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 1, 2014

Mark Kosieradzki presented two lectures to nationally known plaintiffs’ attorneys  at the American Association for Justice annual convention in Baltimore, MD. On day one of the convention he lectured on the “Death Star” Deposition: Combining the 30(b)(2), 30(b)(6) and 34 deposition. He covered techniques for crafting the deposition notice, the respondent’s duty and the scope of the inquiry. Mark is an expert on the Rule 30(b)(6) depositions and teaches his techniques at seminars across the united states. Mark then wrapped up the convention on day three when he lectured about Protective Orders: A Comprehensive Approach to Stonewalling.

Mark is well known throughout the country for his knowledge of 30(b)(6) depositions. The American Association for Justice released Mark’s DVD, Deposing the Corporate Representative: 30(b)(6) Depositions. The DVD can be purchased from American Association for Justice by contacting  202.965.3500, ext. 8615 of the AAJ Exchange.

photo 3Most Recently, Mark taught the first ever full-day 30(b)(6) program along with nationally known attorney, Phillip Miller. Mark plans to teach another full-day 30(b)(6) program in October in Oklahoma. He was also featured in the July 2014 edition of Trial Magazine with his six page spread that covered the Rule 30(b)(6) depositions.

Mark and the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represent clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by wrongdoers, including nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe you or your loved one has been harmed by another’s wrongful conduct, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Firm News, Firm News