Repeat Offender—Nursing Home Charged With Third Wrongful Death Lawsuit This Year

Our Maryland Nursing Home Injury Lawyers have been following a recent case in which Ruxton Health, a local nursing facility in Virginia, has been charged with another wrongful death lawsuit—the third nursing home injury lawsuit from this year.

Bob Wiggins filed the civil lawsuit last week on behalf of his mother, Lorina Wiggins, who had been under Ruxton Heath’s care for a year when she was brought to the emergency room in March 2008 with deeply infected bedsores. Wiggins, who was 84 at the time, died a week later from complications of these wounds.

This nursing home injury lawsuit claims that one of the seven bedsores that Wiggins developed over the year that she was cared for at Ruxton Health, had become so deeply infected that in the course of three months it exposed her ankle bone.

Bob Wiggins claims in the suit that he was never informed about his mother’s infected bedsores that advanced to a deadly degree during final few months of her life. When he was unable to visit the facility in person, he claims that when we could call to check on her, he was incorrectly reassured by the Ruxton staff that she was doing “fine” and had “no problems”.

When Lorina Wiggins entered the nursing home, she was at high risk for skin breakdown, and according to the suit needed specific nursing home care to prevent any sores or lesions from developing, which included being physically moved every few hours.

The lawsuit is seeking $35 million from Ruxton Health and former nursing home administrator Sue Myatt.

The Wiggins case is the third nursing home wrongful death lawsuit brought against Ruxton Health this year. The first wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of Lillian Funn—who died from skin ulcers and multiple nursing home bedsores in 2008.

The second lawsuit was filed after the death of Roper Houston, 70-year old mentally retarded man who died in 2007. Houston lived in the assisted care facility for more than 30 years, and was at high risk for falls, experiencing up to 14 falls a year.

According to the $26 million wrongful death lawsuit, Houston’s family had continually warned the facility to keep a close watch on him, but the home neglected to ensure his health and safety. Houston was taken to the emergency room by the Ruxton staff in September 2007 for having blood in his urine, but the staff failed to inform the hospital that he had fallen out of his bed and hit his head. According to the family physician, the blow to the head caused a subdural hematoma which lead to Houston’s death.

Ruxton Health was sold to Envoy Health Care Services in January of this year, and now operates under Envoy of Williamsburg. State regulatory officials have received 28 complaints of patient neglect between 2006 and 2008.

If a Maryland resident becomes injured or dies because the nursing home neglected to protect the health and safety of the resident, the nursing home could be held liable for Maryland nursing home negligence or wrongful death. Our attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC represent victims and their families who wish to recover personal injury compensation from nursing home negligence and harm.

Nursing Home Faces Another Lawsuit, Daily Press, October 9, 2009
Nursing Home Death Leads to $26 M Suit, WAVY.com, August 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:

CDC, Falls in Nursing Homes

Justia: Nursing Home Abuse

The National Consumer Voice For Quality Long-Term Care, (NCCNHR), Nursing Home Resident: Getting Quality Care

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