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92-Year Old Victim of Narcotic Overdose Files Complaint Against Nursing Home

Kosieradzki Smith’s has filed a lawsuit on behalf of our client, William V. Lacina.  The lawsuit is against St. Therese Home, Inc. to hold the New Hope, Minnesota nursing home accountable for negligently administering narcotic medication not prescribed by his doctor. The nursing home’s negligence caused a narcotic overdose.

On April 22, 2014, Mr. Lacina’s family observed a sudden decline in his condition. Care personnel at St. Therese Home told his family to accept as fact that their father was entering the final phase of his life. Fortunately, Mr. Lacina’s family did not accept the nursing home’s unfounded explanation. They insisted that their father be transferred to an emergency room.

Emergency medical personnel at North Memorial Medical Center discovered signs of narcotic overdose: Mr. Lacina had pinpoint pupils, an altered mental status, shallow frequent breathing, and low oxygen. An emergency room physician immediately ordered that Mr. Lacina be treated with Narcan to reverse the effects of drug overdose.

Laboratory results at the hospital showed that Mr. Lacina tested positive for opiates in his body. At no time during his admission and residence at the St. Therese nursing home did any doctor prescribe narcotic medication for Mr. Lacina. Mr. Lacina recalled the nursing home staff administering some pills prior to the hospitalization that were different than his usual pills.

Mr. Lacina was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at North Memorial, where he remained hospitalized for eight days.

Prior to the narcotic overdose, Mr. Lacina was admitted to St. Therese Home for rehabilitation and strengthening following a recent hospitalization. The length of Mr. Lacina’s stay at the nursing home was expected to be less than 30 days.

Mr. Lacina now resides with his wife at an assisted living facility in Shakopee. Although he is out of the hospital now, Mr. Lacina says that he is still dealing with the harm caused by the overdose: “I can’t sleep at night thinking about what happened to me and how close to death I got because of the nursing home.” As he points, even though he is 92-years old, he still had plenty of things he was looking forward to, like his fishing trips with his sons. “Now,” however, “I can’t go on the fishing trips anymore. I don’t look forward to much of anything now.”

Mr. Lacina says, “I’m not strong enough after the overdose to be able to help my wife like I could before. We have to live in this [assisted living] facility now because of my wife’s declining health and I can’t help her much now.” The cost of the additional care they now need exceeds Mr. Lacina’s monthly pension income.

Mr. Lacina has filed this lawsuit because he is “worried about the kind of care that other residents [at St. Therese] are in. Something has to be done to make sure they are safe. And I think it’s wrong that they did this to me. Then they were trying to convince my kids that I was ready for the grave. I’m grateful my kids didn’t listen to them. The nursing home needs to be responsible for what they did.”

Mark Kosieradzki says, “It’s shocking that this nursing home would administer narcotic medications to a patient when his doctor never prescribed them. It’s even more shocking that the nursing home would then essentially leave the patient for dead.” Kosieradzki says that the lawsuit is necessary because St. Therese Home needs to accept responsibility for this overdose: “This nursing home needs to show Mr. Lacina and his family that it has systems in place now to prevent this from happening again. The goal of this lawsuit is to make that happen.”

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, including medication abuse and errors. 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.