Lawyer Resources for Colorado

Law Firm Representing Injured Victims of Belmont Lodge Health Care Center

To ensure the health and well-being of every nursing home resident, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) along with the State of Colorado routinely investigate, survey, and inspect every nursing facility in the state. During these scheduled appointments and unannounced inspections, the surveyors identify minor to serious offenses, violations, and deficiencies that occur within the walls of the nursing home.

When serious violations are identified, the surveyors will often penalize the nursing home with monetary fines or place the facility on a federal watch list. In the most egregious cases, the nursing home will be designated a Special Focus Facility (SFF) to alert the Administrator and nursing staff that their substandard level of care will no longer be tolerated.

$3.2 Million Awarded In Response To Bed Sore LawsuitBed sores are a progressive complication that can afflict any immobile patient in a nursing home or other type of care facility.  When bed sores (also referred to as: decubitus ulcer, pressure ulcers or pressure sores) develop, the open wounds expose the patient to a risk of complications including infection of the surrounding tissue, bone and even the entire bloodstream— which can prove far more formidable to overcome than the patient’s original condition.

The good news with respect to the overwhelming number of situations involving bed sores in nursing homes is that these cases can be prevented with proper care from staff at the facility.  Paramount to the prevention of bed sores in any facility is the realization by the facility (and staff) that certain patients are predisposed to developing them based upon their physical condition— and prevention methods must be created and implemented.

Similarly, staff need to monitor the skin integrity of each patient they are caring for to identify bed sores in their early stages.  From a treatment perspective, bed sores in their early stages are far more manageable to treat than once they progress to a more advanced level.  In addition to recording the patients skin condition in their medical chart, staff should also advise the attending physician of the situation so a timely intervention can be made.

Picture-66The Colorado Supreme Court handed down a decision in the matter of Lujan v. Life Care Centers of America that invalidates nursing home arbitration agreements entered into by a healthcare proxy. The Colorado Court  held that the power to make medical decisions is different from the ability to consent settle disputes via a private system– as in done in nursing home cases with mandatory arbitration agreements.

In Lujan, Estella Lujan’s son admitted her to a Life Care Center in Colorado and signed off on an arbitration agreement along with other admission paperwork.  Three days after Ms. Lujan’s admission to Life Care Center, she died.

Ms. Lujan’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility claiming that her death was due to the facilities negligent care.  After, a lawsuit was filed, Life Care Centers filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the lawsuit should be dismissed due to the fact an arbitration agreement was in place.

Colorado jury has awarded $375,000 the the family of a deceased nursing home resident.  The family of Doris Wolf brought a lawsuit against Spring Healthcare Center and Sava Senior Care, the parent company for injuries she sustained in a fall while a resident at the facility.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health, Ms. Wolf was admitted to Spring Healthcare Center for rehabilitation following surgery on her back.  The day Ms. Wolf was to go home, she fell in the bathroom.  Apparently, Ms. Wolf used her call button to ask the nursing home staff for assistance in using the toilet.  After not receiving any response, Ms. Wolf used the bathroom unassisted and fell. When Wolfe thought an “extended amount of time passed” and no one answered her request, she opted to try to walk toward her walker on her own and broke her ankle.

iStock_000006616614XSmall The health department investigation also indicated that Spring Creek X-rayed Wolfe’s ankle and found no fracture, but a family physician looked at the X-ray results and determined it was fractured in two places.  Similar incidents has occurred in the past.  According to the Colorado Health Department, another resident at Spring Creek Health Center was denied help going to the bathroom in February. “The resident put on her call light and when staff responded, asked for assistance with toileting,” the report reads. “The staff member told her she didn’t have time to assist her and she would have to wet the bed. Another staff member assisted the resident.”

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Client Reviews

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric