Lawyer Resources for Oklahoma

Injured Purcell Care Center Residents Now Filing Financial Compensation Claims

Nursing home regulators working for the State of Oklahoma and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct routine inspections, surveys, and investigations on every facility statewide. These unannounced visits to the nursing home help identify minor to serious infractions, violations, and deficiencies that require immediate correction. The efforts by the survey team help stop abuse, mistreatment, and neglect.

Some cases are so egregious that surveyors place the nursing facility on a federal Medicare watch list and designate the home as a Special Focus Facility (SFF). The surveyors will return three or four times throughout the year to review documents, make observations and interview residents and employees. If there are no significant improvements to the list of infractions and deficiencies, the nursing facility can remain on the watch list for as long as 3 to 4 years.

Cameras in Nursing HomesWe already know that people inside a nursing home are typically a vulnerable population. Most of them no longer live alone because they cannot take care of themselves physically or are unable communicate their needs to others. Unfortunately, this also means that these elderly Americans are easy targets of neglect and abuse by nursing home employees and other residents, in part because of their vulnerable status.

If you have someone that you care about enter into a nursing home, it is important that you feel confident that he or she is going to be safe and cared for. When nursing home abuse does happen, you want to draw attention to it to force a change. However, highlighting the abuse that occurs in a nursing home might be difficult, unless you are able to document it somehow.

A catalyst for change

A colleague forwarded me this video with Dr. Dale Bratzler of the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality as he discusses the prevalence of pressure ulcers amongst patients in nursing homes and hospitals in the state.  Unfortunately, Oklahoma is one of the top five worst states in terms of frequency of development of pressure ulcers.

Oklahoma has One Of The Highest Rates Of Pressure Ulcers Dr. Bratzler suggests that the best method of prevention is to educate ‘front line workers’– those who typically provide the most hands-on patient care as to what can be done to from a prevention standpoint and how identify the wounds in their early stages before they become particularly problematic.

I couldn’t agree more.  In my experience by the time a pressure ulcer (similarly called: bed sore, decubitus ulcer or pressure sore) has developed, it is really a display of a complete breakdown in patient care at the entire facility.  In the days and weeks a stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcer develops, it literally means that shaft-after-shift of nurses or aides failed to do their job.

94-Year-Old Charged With Raping Co-ResidentCharges of first-degree rape by instrumentation have been filed against 94-year-old Lester Pendergast.  The charges stem from a September, 2008 incident when a witness caught Pendergast performing a sexual act on a 67-year-old at the Grace Living Center in Oklahoma.  A local hospital used a rape kit to confirm the sexual contact had taken place.

According to a statement released by the facility, “Grace Living Center of Edmond takes the responsibility to protect all residents very seriously. We discovered the incident and immediately took steps to provide for the safety and care of the residents; we reported the matter to the health department and police; and the male resident was promptly removed from the facility. We have cooperated fully with authorities throughout the investigation.”

A Perfect Cause, an organization dedicated to long-term care reform, believes it is in the best interest of other nursing home residents to publicly identify Mr. Pendergast as a sexual offender.

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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