Las Cruces Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Abuse and neglect can happen to any nursing home resident, anywhere and at any time. In fact, The Las Cruces nursing home neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have represented many nursing home residents who have been victims of physical abuse, neglect, emotional trauma, sexual assault, exploitation or abandonment. Many of our clients are disabled, mentally ill, sick, and isolated from others, even though surrounded by family and friends.
Sadly, the most vulnerable members of society to live in nursing facilities tend to be the most vulnerable among us and are at the highest risk level to be victimized by mistreatment, neglect and abuse. Even though New Mexico law requires any individual with the suspicion of mistreatment, neglect, abuse or exploitation happening to a nursing home resident requires the individual to report the incident, many cases are never reported at all. Other times, family members and friends lack the ability to identify or detect a sign of abuse or neglect occurring to their friend, child, spouse, parent or grandparent until long after the damage, injury or harm has occurred.
The number of cases of nursing home abuse and neglect are likely to increase in the years ahead. This is because many more individuals than ever before are entering their retirement years. Abuse and neglect is a serious problem everywhere, even in the Las Cruces area. This is because out of the more than 215,000 residents residing in Dona Ana County, approximately 32,000 are senior citizens, who already require skilled nursing care and assistance with their activities of daily living.Las Cruces Nursing Home Resident Health Concerns
Our Dona Ana County elder abuse attorneys recognize that it is a crime in New Mexico to neglect or abuse a vulnerable individual, including residents in nursing facilities. In an effort to help victims suffering mistreatment, state legislators have provided legal remedies including seeking justice against those who caused the resident harm. Additionally, the victim and family members are usually entitled to receive just compensation to cover their damages including medical expenses, wrongful death, pain, suffering or physical injury caused by caregivers, employees and other residents.
In an effort to provide help, our New Mexico nursing home lawyers review publicly available information sources including Medicare.gov. In our efforts, we assess and evaluate many cases in nursing facilities where an opened investigation, safety concerns, health violation or file complaint injured a resident or claimed their life. We post this information below as a way to assist families with loved ones in a nursing facility in the Las Cruces area or those who are researching the best facility that provides the highest level of medical care and hygiene assistance.Comparing Las Cruces Area Nursing Facilities
The comprehensive detailed list below was compiled by our Dona Ana County nursing home lawyers outlining specific Las Cruces area nursing homes that currently maintain average to below average ratings compared other facilities throughout the United States. In addition, we have posted our primary concerns by detailing specific cases that have resulted in harm, injury or death of the resident. Some of these cases include staff negligence, physical assault, the spread of infection, bedsores acquired after the resident was admitted to the facility and other serious concerns that placed the resident’s life in jeopardy.
Our attorneys have compiled data from settlements and jury verdicts across New Mexico to give you an idea as to how cases are valued. Learn more about the cases below:
- New Mexico Medical Error Settlements
- New Mexico Nursing Home Medication Error Settlements
- New Mexico Nursing Home Fall Case Valuations
- New Mexico Nursing Home Bed Sore Case Valuations
- New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Case Values
CASA DEL SOL CENTER
2905 East Missouri
Las Cruces, New Mexico 880
A “For-Profit” 62-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Ensure That Every Resident Entering a Nursing Facility without a Catheter Is Not Given a Catheter and Instead Receives Proper Services to Prevent UTIs and Restore Normal Bladder Function
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 11/20/2015, a notation was made by a state investigator during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “provide justification for the use of a catheter [for a resident with an] indwelling urinary catheter (tube in the bladder, secured by a balloon and continually draining urine into a drainage bag).”
The deficient practice was noted by state investigator noted that “the facility is not ensuring justification of the catheter, then the resident may likely be exposed to an increased frequency of infection or trauma from an unnecessary catheter.”
An observation was made of the resident at 5:00 PM on 11/17/2015 that revealed the resident “had a urinary catheter draining yellow fluid. In addition, a review of the resident’s 10/22/2015 Care Plan “reveals as an intervention for the Foley catheter assess the continued need for a catheter.
However, the state investigator conducted an interview with the facility’s Director of Nursing Services at 3:00 PM on 11/18/2015 who stated that “she does not believe that there has been any evaluation for [the resident’s] ongoing need for the catheter.”
Our Las Cruces nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to ensure that residents are only given catheters after an initial evaluation and follow-up evaluation could place their health and well-being in jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Casa Del Sol Center could be considered mistreatment or negligence because their action violates federal and state nursing home regulations.
SAGECREST NURSING AND REHABILITATION
2029 Sagecrest Court
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011
A “For-Profit” 120-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Follow Procedures and Protocols to Report and Investigate Any Act or Report of Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment of Residents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 02/04/2016, a notation was made during an annual licensure and certification survey by a state investigator concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure possible abuse and injuries of unknown origin were reported to the State Agency and thoroughly investigated for [3 residents at the facility] with injuries.” The state investigator noted that “if injuries of unknown origin and possible abuse are not investigated, this could lead to more abuse of residents.”
An interview was conducted with a family member of the resident 11:30 AM on 01/28/2016 who stated that a Certified Nursing Assistant “found a burn on my grandpa’s shoulder a few weeks ago after we asked her to shower him. My mom thought it might be from the hot packs they use and physical therapy. They had a wound nurse look at it.”
A prior interview occurred on the previous day of 01/27/2016 at 11:13 AM with the facility Wound Care Nurse who stated that a Certified Nursing Assistant “brought it to my attention 2 to 3 weeks ago. It looks like a skin tear, superficial, skin flap present, not well approximated. It looked very recent.”
During that interview, the Wound Care Nurse also said that he “called the doctor, let him know. The family was there; I think the wife was there. [The resident’s] wife said maybe it was a burn. He had fallen the previous night, maybe it was that. It could have been a burn/skin tear/shear. I had no way of knowing. The wound is resolved. I did not do an incident report; I didn’t think about that.”
At 9:55 AM on 01/28/2016, an interview was conducted with the Physical Therapist who stated that “I have been working with [the resident] since November 2015. Sometimes I do use hot packs on his shoulders. I monitor them every 10 to 15 minutes and check the skin under the pack. He can also tell me if he has any pain. There was never any problem or concerns about the pack.” The investigator reviewed the resident’s 01/15/2016 Physical Therapy Note which did “not reveal any notation of changes in the skin or any problems.”
The following day at 12:48 PM, an interview was conducted with the Certified Nursing Assistant stated that “I did find a wound on the [resident…but] do not recall the date. Maybe this month or last month. I came in at about 2:00 PM. The family said the shower aide didn’t get to him for some reason […and] asked me to shower him. When I undressed them, I saw a dime size blister, like it had been popped and was flat. It wasn’t red.”
The Certified Nursing Assistant during the interview also said that “The wife said she hadn’t seen it before. I told the Wound Care Nurse […and] wrote it on my shower sheet. I did not report it to anyone else or do anything else about it.”
The following morning at 11:20 AM on 01/29/2016, an interview was conducted by the state investigator with the facility’s Interim Director of Nurses who stated that “she was unable to find a shower sheet for [the resident] on 01/15/2016. She states she was unaware of the injury and the staff should have reported the injury to her.”
The investigator reviewed the resident’s January for 2016 Wound Care Note that revealed a “skin tear to the left shoulder. Measurement 3.0 centimeters by 0.5 centimeters. Will continue to monitor for changes.”
Further review of the resident’s medical records uncovered a 08/22/2015 Incident Report noting that “the resident was hit by lift bar on the Hoyer lift in the mouth. Further review of the report revealed no further investigation.”
At 11:00 AM 01/27/2016 interview with the facility Director of Nursing it was confirmed that the reports “were not reported to the State agency and were not further investigated beyond what was written on the reports.”
Our Las Cruces nursing home abuse attorneys recognize that failing to follow protocols and procedures to investigate and report any act or report of abuse and mistreatment of residents could place the health and well-being of the resident in immediate jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Sage Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center might be considered further abuse or mistreatment because their actions fail to follow the facility’s policy titled: Abuse and Neglect Policy that reads in part:
“Prevention: To properly report incidences of mistreatment, abuse or neglect, injuries of unknown origin, such as bruising and/or skin tears will be investigated by the Administrator and/or Director of Nursing.”
CASA DE ORO CENTER
1005 Lujan Hill Road
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88005
A “For-Profit” 158-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 3 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Ensure That Every Resident Receives an Accurate Assessment by Qualified Health Professional
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 01/24/2015, a state surveyor made a notation during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure that a Registered Nurse performed ADL (activities of daily living) assessments for [a resident at the facility requiring] rehabilitation by relying upon the information in ADL (activities of daily living) sheets conducted by Certified Nursing Aides to complete the MDS (Minimum Data Set) assessments.”
The state investigator noted that “if resident’s care is not accurately assessed for by Registered Nurses, residents could have an incorrect MDS (Minimum Data Set) which could lead to the resident not receiving the services they need to improve their health.”
The state investigator reviewed a resident’s MDS (Minimum Data Set) documentation between 09/12/2014 and 10/02/2014 that revealed that the resident “requires extensive assistance for transferring and the resident is involved in the activity while staff provides weight-bearing support.”
An interview was conducted at 2:20 PM on 01/23/2015 with the facility’s Minimum Data Set Coordinator who was “asked where and how does she get her information from when entering the resident’s transfer information?” The Coordinator responded that they “get the information from the ADL (activities of daily living) sheets.” When the Coordinator was asked who fills the ADL sheets out, they responded: “the ADL sheets are done by the Nurses ‘Aides.”
The investigator asked the Minimum Data Set Coordinator if “she ever observed the care of [the resident]?” The Coordinator responded, “The computer says to look at the ADL sheets […and] I have always use the ADL sheets. All reports I sent, even the ones Corporate, use the ADL sheets.”
Our Las Cruces elder abuse attorneys recognize that failing to ensure that qualified health professionals such as Registered Nurses accurately assess the health and well-being and medical conditions of residents could place their health and well-being in jeopardy. The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Casa de Oro Center might be considered mistreatment or neglect because their actions fail to follow acceptable standards of care enforced by federal and state nursing home regulatory agencies.
AMBROSIO GUILLEN TEXAS STATE VETERANS HOME
9650 Kenworthy St.
El Paso, Texas 79924
A “Government Owned and Operated” 160-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Provide Every Resident an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent an Avoidable Accident That Caused Actual Harm
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 01/26/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “ensure that [a resident] reviewed for accidents and supervision received adequate supervision to prevent accidents.”
A state investigator reviewed a resident’s Face Sheet showing that the resident was admitted to the facility for palliative care and died. The resident’s Admission MDS (Minimum Data Set) revealed the resident’s Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) score of six out of 15 indicating the resident had severely impaired cognition for daily decision-making. Additional documentation revealed that the resident “had no behaviors, required one person extensive assistance for mobility, had constant pain that interfered with activities of daily living and had a pressure ulcer.”
The complaint investigation involved in an incident occurring at the facility where a Certified Occupational Therapy Aide “placed a heating pack, without a physician’s order” on the back of a resident and forgot about the hot pack. “Two hours later, two Certified Nurses’ Aides saw dried blood on the blankets and on the resident’s back.”
The facility’s provider investigation report documents that “a hot pack was placed on [the resident’s] back approximately 10:30 AM and left on until 1:00 PM.” A facility’s Licensed Vocational Nurse assessed the resident “and found a heating pack on the resident.” It was noted that “the description of the injury was a redness and blistering where the hot pack was applied.”
Upon assessment, it was noted a reddened area measuring 20.0 centimeters by 30.0 centimeters (the size of the heating pack] was found on the resident’s back “with 11.3 centimeters by 3.9 centimeters peeled area in the center of the redness.”
The state surveyor conducting an investigation into the complaint noted that this failure by the nursing staff “left the first and second-degree burns on the resident and could place 23 residents [who are receiving Occupational Therapy at the facility] at risk for injury.”
An investigation into the incident revealed that the Certified Occupational Therapy Aide had “placed a hot pack on [the resident’s] lower back and covered with a towel at around 10:30 AM; she then turned [the resident] over to the facility’s Speech Language Pathologist, and failed to inform her that she had placed a hot pack on [the resident] […and] failed to remember the hot pack was on the resident and it was not discovered until he was brought back to his room for ADLs (activities of daily living) around 1:00 PM.”
The state investigator reviewed a written statement by the Certified Occupational Therapy Aide where it was stated that “I put the hot pack on the resident about 10:30 AM more or less. I did not set a timer and began with another patient […and] did not take [the resident] back to the Memory Care Unit.” The written statement documents that the Speech Language Pathologist asked the Aide if they were done with the resident so “she could begin the therapy. I said he was finished with me for therapy. The hot pack was on the lower back in the patient was covered with a blanket […and the] hot pack was not visible.”
An interview was conducted with the facility’s Physical Therapy Aide at the facility that said the facility’s “hydrocollator contained hot packs at a temperature of 165 – 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot packs are a superficial heater that conducts heat about 1.0 centimeter depth on the body. The hot pack is placed on the body and insulated with blankets depending on the resident’s size and skin condition. The use of the hot pack requires a physician’s order.”
The Physical Therapy Aide also stated during the interview that their “experience with hot packs is that they retain heat for about 40 minutes. Residents, especially those with decreased cognitive ability, were checked frequently […and] the rehabilitation company policy for the hydrocollator was posted above the hydrocollator prior to being removed from the building.”
Our El Paso nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to provide an environment free of accident hazards and failure to follow protocols to avoid actual harm places the health and well-being of the resident in jeopardy. The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Ambrosia Guillen Texas State Veterans Home might be considered mistreatment or neglect because their actions fail to follow appropriate training including the manufacturer’s Hot Pack Safety Policy that post findings including:
“The pads from the hydrocollator retain heat sufficient to burn human skin for at least 50 minutes, even with appropriate towels for insulation.”
MOUNTAIN VILLA NURSING CENTER
2729 Porter Ave
El Paso, Texas 79930
A “For-Profit” 48-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Policies That Prevent Mistreatment, Abuse or Neglect of Residents or the Theft of Their Property
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 07/17/2015, a notation was made by a state investigator during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “implement policies and procedures that prohibit mistreatment, neglect and abuse of residents and misappropriation of resident property.” The failure of the staff and administration at Mountain Villa Nursing Center involved 16 of 17 employees whose personnel files were reviewed.”
The state investigator noted that “criminal background checks were not conducted for four staff members at the facility including] the Director of Nursing, Dietary Aide, Housekeeping Staff and the Dietitian.”
The investigator noted that other workers at the facility “had not completed the facility’s abuse and neglect trainings. These employees included the nursing home Administrator, Director of Nurses, Housekeeping Staff Member, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Dietary Manager, Dietitian, two Licensed Vocational Nurses, the Activities Director, four Certified Nurses’ Aides, the Maintenance Director and Social Worker.
The state investigator documented that the deficient practice by the administration and nursing staff at Mountain Villa Nursing Center “place 46 residents at risk of being exposed to staff with previous misconduct or with unemployable status in their employment increasing the risk of abuse and neglect.
During a 07/16/2015 interview with the facility’s Human Resource Director, it was stated that no other records were available to provide the survey team that could show the employees’ criminal history checks and training.
Our El Paso nursing home abuse attorneys recognize that failing to follow procedures and protocols when hiring and training employees could expose residents to workers with previous histories of abuse and neglect. The deficient practice of the administration, human resources department and nursing staff at Mountain Villa Nursing Center might be considered abuse or mistreatment because their actions fail to follow the facility’s 08/02/2014 policy title: Abuse and Neglect that revealed in part:
“All personnel will be screened before hiring for background and reference checks. Mandatory staff orientation and annually thereafter are provided to include topics as abuse and neglect prevention, identification and reporting of abuse.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW HEALTHCARE CENTER
1600 Murchison Rd
El Paso, Texas 79902
A “For-Profit” 187-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Provide Every Resident an Environment Free of Serious Medical Errors That Leads to Actual Harm
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 01/08/2016, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “ensure [a resident] reviewed for intravenous medications was free of significant medication errors.”
As a part of the investigation, the state surveyor reviewed a resident’s medical records that revealed the resident was requiring four weeks of IV medication treatment and did not receive the IV medication treatment at the facility. In addition, after the resident’s admission, the IV medication was changed to a different medication, a less expensive drug, and for only two days.
The state investigator noted that “this facility failure resulted in harm for [the resident] and could affect three other residents admitted to the facility for IV medications and place them at risk for exacerbation of current health issues, development of new health issues and the possibility of hospitalization.”
The investigator also reviewed the resident’s 01/08/2016 closed record Face Sheet documenting that the resident had an infection of the bone. The resident’s 12/11/2015 Hospital Status Report was documented by the Infectious Disease Physician revealing that “The patient will continue with the same medical treatment, wound care and will continue with [their prescribed medication], all previous cultures grew gram-positive organisms. He needs to continue with IV antibiotic therapy and for osteo until 01/14/2016.”
During 01/07/2016 interview with the facility’s Unit Manager, it was revealed that “the pharmacy called and said the IV medication was expensive.” The Unit Manager said that “the nursing facility Administrator and the Director of Nursing had instructed if the medication was expensive to call the physician to request another medication.”
During the interview, the Unit Manager also said that “she called the physician to change the medication due to the cost and she talked to the on-call Nurse Practitioner covering the physician and she did change it to [a different medication].” The Unit Manager also said that “the pharmacy wanted a stop date so she telephoned the on-call Nurse Practitioner again and the Nurse Practitioner gave the stop date of 12/14/2015, which he told the pharmacy.”
The Unit Manager said that they were unaware that the resident “was supposed to get the IV medication until 01/14/2016 […and said that when] you are acting as weekend supervisor, you do not have time to review the new admissions charts; you are very busy.” The Unit Manager also said that “she doesn’t know what happened after the weekend […and that the] Unit Manager checks charts each day Monday through Friday for new admissions and especially on Monday morning. The Unit Manager on that floor should have gone over the chart and medications and call the physician for orders.”
The Director of Nursing at the facility said: “we do not give expensive drugs […and] they are not resident advocates; they just follow physician’s orders.”
An interview conducted at 1:35 PM on 12/22/2015 with the facility’s Attending Physician it was revealed that the “on-call nurse practitioner doesn’t have any information about new admissions […and] the on-call nurse practitioner and physician rely on the facility to give them all the information on the resident.” In addition, the attending physician said that “the on-call nurse practitioner wasn’t told the Hospital Infectious Disease Physician ordered [a specific medication that was to be administered] until 01/14/2015, [and that they] would have no way of knowing that information”.Recognizing the Signs of Neglect or Abuse
One of the most uncomfortable aspects of abuse and neglect in nursing facilities is the fact that most hazards, violations and outright signs of mistreatment are never reported. This is because many victims in nursing facilities failed to file a report due to a fear of retaliation or lack of where to turn for help. Other times, the victim may not have the cognitive capacity to understand what happened due to advanced age or medical condition.
Usually, the only advocates the resident has are family members or friends who discover that something wrong is going on and then take immediate legal action. Without advocacy, many victims died prematurely or suffer for years on end without any corrective action being taken.
Usually, abuse occurring in nursing facility environments happens one of two ways. Many cases involve misconduct of employees or other residents that involve physical, emotional, mental, sexual or financial abuse. Often times, a visitor or family member will notice unexplained bruising, lacerations, dehydration, bedsores, unsanitary conditions, unexpected weight gain or loss, signs of malnutrition or another obvious indicator.
Other times, the resident is abused in less obvious ways where they are not provided medical treatment, allowed to participate in recreational activities, are denied Social Services, or are over medicated or under medicated. Other times, they are isolated from others, hit, slapped or beaten out of sight of others or left unsupervised as an intentional act or a lack of staffing that leads to a falling event or another type of accident that could have been prevented.
Most nursing facilities are operated and managed by huge corporations that are legally represented by insurance carriers that are more than eager to cheaply and quickly dispose of any abuse or neglect case. Often times, family members whose loved one has become victimized in a nursing facility stand little chance to fight against high paid defense attorneys on their own.
The Las Cruces nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have handled many nursing home mistreatment cases throughout New Mexico. We understand comprehensive state tort law and remain sympathetic to the families of victims of nursing home neglect and abuse. Our lawyers have a wealth of litigation experience and remain successful in handling cases involving negligence, abuse and wrongful death.
We encourage you to contact our law offices today at (800) 926-7565 to schedule your complimentary, full case evaluation. Through our legal actions, we can protect your legal rights, provide various options and help you hold those legally responsible financially accountable for their unacceptable behaviors. We accept all wrongful death cases, personal injury lawsuits and nursing home neglect claims for compensation through contingency fee agreements. This means you receive immediate legal counsel, advice and representation without any upfront payment.
For additional information on New Mexico laws and information on nursing homes look here.
If you are looking for information on a specific facility or an attorney, please see links below to respective locality pages.