Ronald Corn visited his mother twice a week at the Sunrise Sterling Canyon Assisted Living Center in Valencia, California (CA). His mother, Loretta Hooker, moved into the Los Angeles County nursing home in 2007 after developing mild dementia. Her dementia got worse, and she was moved in 2010 to a section of the facility with supposedly increased assistance and security.
In August of 2011, Corn went to see his mother only to find her sitting alone on a patio in the blazing hot sun with no shade or anyone to assist her. She was basically left helpless, completely neglected by the nursing home staff.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Corn complained to the staff, alerting them to the serious health risks his mother could suffer, but staffers did nothing.
He returned the following week and found his mother on the exact same patio, unresponsive, drenched with sweat and in respiratory distress. Hooker was taken to the emergency room, but it was too late; the damage had already been done. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Corn, understandably, filed a nursing home negligence claim. The wrongful death lawsuit states that his mother’s body temperature rose higher than 103 degrees as she sat on that patio completely unattended for, possibly, hours.
The Virginia Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers' Perspective
The lawsuit has merit. Leaving a resident with dementia unattended in the heat is a casebook example of nursing home negligence. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has stated its conclusion that neglect occurred, and state regulators cited the nursing home for negligence.
Unfortunately, these types of incidents are quite common. Many nursing homes are understaffed or filled with incompetent workers who do not understand how to properly care for patients with dementia. If you suspect your elderly loved one is being neglected, you should discuss the situation with an attorney to see what type of action can, and should, be taken.
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