Elko Nevada Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Elko Elder Neglect AttorneysMore than 16,000 nursing facilities operate in the United States providing services to more than 1.5 million residents. Unfortunately, not every nursing facility provides the highest quality of care. In fact, The Elko nursing home neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have taken immediate action to stop the neglect, mistreatment or abuse of many elderly clients living in nursing facilities in Nevada.

The number of individuals requiring skilled, rehabilitative and nursing home care in the future is likely to grow as advancements in medical and healthcare technology allow people to live longer. Nearly 200,000 residents live the rural populated areas along the Nevada/Idaho border in counties that include Elko, White Pine, Eureka and Humboldt Counties in Nevada and Cassia and Twin Falls Counties in Idaho. Approximately 25,000 of the total population in this large community our senior citizens, which many reside in the limited number of nursing facilities in the area.

Nevada Nursing Home Resident Health Concerns

Just because many nursing homes have become overcrowded and are understaffed does not mean the resident leaves behind their basic human rights. By law, nursing facilities are charged with protecting residents from harm, injury and death. However, inadequate penalties and poor enforcement of protective nursing home regulations have compounded the problems that exist in many nursing facilities statewide.

In an effort to help, our Nevada elder abuse attorneys provide valuable information gathered from national databases including Medicare.gov. We continually assess, evaluate and review cases involving opened investigations, safety concerns, health violations and filed complaints of nursing facilities throughout the Elko Nevada area. Many families choose to use this information to determine the level of care their loved one might be receiving in a facility. Other families use the data to help in the decision process of where to place a loved one who requires the highest level of care in a safe, protective environment.

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Comparing Northeast Nevada Area Nursing Facilities

The detailed list below outlines all of the facilities throughout the northeast Nevada and south-central Idaho urban and rural areas that currently maintain below standard ratings compared with other nursing homes nationwide. In addition, we have posted our primary concerns involving specific cases of neglect, abuse and mistreatment at the hands of caregivers or others in the facility.

WHITE PINE CARE CENTER
1500 Avenue G
Ely, Nevada 89301
(775) 289-8801

A “For-Profit” 97-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Programs That Control or Maintain Infection Spreading

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 09/03/2015, a state surveyor made a notation during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure proper infection preventions [were utilized] in the medication room and during medication pass observation.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff that White Pine Care Center directly involved two residents at the facility.”

The state surveyor conducting the investigation noted that on 09/01/2015 at 7:15 AM, during a medication pass observation the nurse administering medications “used an ungloved bare hand to remove a medication from the package and place it in the medication cup. The nurse administered the medication to [the resident].”

The surveyor conducted an interview immediately “following the medication pass observation [where] the nurse confirmed handling the medication with an ungloved hand was an improper infection prevention procedure.”

An observation later that morning at 8:10 AM, the “Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) was observed doing a blood finger stick on [another resident]. When finished, the LPN took the barrier, which had been placed on the residents over bed table, out of the medication cart. The LPN that placed the barrier on top of the medication cart along with the glucometer. After cleaning the glucometer, the nurse disposed of the barrier and failed to disinfect the top of the medication cart.”

The observations made by the state investigator “were discussed with the LPN [who] agreed with the findings and indicated the barrier should have been disposed of in the resident’s room to prevent cross contamination and that the top of the medication cart should have been disinfected.”

Our Ely nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to follow procedures and protocols when administering medication has the potential of spreading infection throughout the facility. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at White Pine Care Center does not follow specific policies adopted by the facility including the 12/01/2007 policy titled: General Does Preparation Medication Administration and the May 2015 policy titled Disinfecting Glucometer that both read in part:

“The facility staff should not touch the medication when opening a bottle or unit dose package.”

“In the resident’s room, provide a barrier between the glucometer… And any surface the machine is placed upon.”

TWIN FALLS CENTER
674 Eastland Drive
Twin Falls, Idaho 83301
(208) 734-4264

A “For-Profit” 116-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Notify the Resident’s Doctor and Family Member of a Change in Condition Where Their Health Could Be Jeopardized without Physician/Informed Consent Intervention

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 09/26/2014, a notation was made during an annual licensure and certification survey by a state investigator concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure resident’s physician and family members were consistently informed of significant changes in resident conditions.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Twin Falls Center directly affected two residents at the facility and “have the potential for harm if physicians did not receive timely information to treat acute illnesses, and family members were not able to make informed decisions regarding treatment options.”

The deficient practice was noted after state surveyor reviewed a resident’s Admission MDS plus documenting that the “resident was cognitively intact, and it was very important for the resident to have family involved in discussions about her care.” The admissions records revealed that her niece and sister were emergency contact individuals.

An additional review of the facility’s SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment and Request) form documented that “the resident was experiencing [specific changes in her condition and] puffiness in her face.” However, “the area of the form to document which family member had been notified, and the date and time of the notification, was blank.”

The state investigator noted that the form documenting that the resident’s “physician was notified “indicated it occurred at “7:40 AM on 07/23/2014. However, there was no acknowledgment or response documented from the physician in the resident’s record.

The facility’s Administrator and other employees in charge of providing notification were asked “to provide documentation that the resident’s family and physician were notified of the change of the resident’s conditions on 07/23/2014. “The facility offered no further information.”

Further review of the resident’s records revealed a 08/26/2014 SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment and Request) Communication Form and Progress Note that revealed the resident admitted complaint of “painful urination, increase confusion. Under the Request Section of the form, the resident was refusing to work (with) therapy stating she was having burning while urinating and frequency. There also seems to be an (increase) in confusion and agitation. During this time, at 2:00 PM on 08/26/2014 the form documents that the resident’s physician was notified. “However, the form was blank where the family notification was to be noted.”

The resident’s 09/18/2014 SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment and Request) Communication Form and Progress Note documents that the resident “noted to have a cough, productive for clear-white-yellowish phlegm. Lungs (with) faint rhonchi [continuous rattling lung sounds] right lower filled. Resident complains of a cough but does not complain of feeling ill.” The SBAR form and Progress Notes document that the resident’s “physician was notified on 09/18/2014 at 6:55 AM. However, the form was blank where the family notification was to be noted.”

During an interview with the facility’s Director of Nursing at 10:25 AM on 09/28/2014 it was revealed “he could not find the resident’s family was notified of the change of condition.”

Our Twin Falls nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to provide notification of a resident’s change of condition to the resident’s family members could place the health of the resident in jeopardy. Without informed consent from a responsible party, the family member could suffer if appropriate measures including treatment and medications are not provided in a timely manner. The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Twin Falls Center may be considered negligence or mistreatment.

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OAK CREEK REHABILITATION CENTER OF KIMBERLY
500 Polk Street East
Kimberly, Idaho 83341
(208) 423-5591

A “For-Profit” -certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Programs That Control or Maintain Infection Spreading

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 05/22/2015, a state surveyor made a notation during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “maintain an infection control program to help identify the root cause of and prevent the development and transmission of infections.” The state agency also noted the facility’s failure to “ensure adequate hygiene as cares were provided. The deficient practice could impact any resident residing in the facility and created the potential harm should residents develop infections.”

The investigator reviewed the facility’s January 2015 Infection Control Log that revealed the three different residents in rooms 201B, 203B and 204B were infected with E. coli bacteria and other related conditions. The February 2015 Infection Control Log reveals that a resident at the facility was re-infected with E. coli bacteria and other related medical conditions. Notations made in the same Infection Control Log revealed that “six different residents in rooms 303B, 305B, 305A, 312A and 205B had nausea and vomiting” between 02/06/2015 and 02/27/2015. However, all cases were resolved by 03/03/2015.

The state investigator observed a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) between 2:30 PM and 2:50 PM on 05/18/2015 who “was taking vital signs on three different residents in rooms 302B, 316A, and 210B. The CNA was observed to touch the resident’s skin with her hands, touch the equipment to the resident’s skin, and placed the vital sign equipment basket on each resident’s bed. The CNA did not wash her hands between each resident, did not use hand sanitizer and did not clean the blood pressure cuff, tempo thermometer or finger 02 oxygen monitor between each resident.”

During the observation, the Certified Nursing Assistant “asked the surveyor if she was supposed to wash her hands between residents when taking vital signs.”

Three days later at 10:05 AM on 05/21/2015, the facility’s Infection Control Nurse “was informed of the concerns […and] was asked what the root cause of the infections was and what interventions were put in place in, around, and during the identification of nosocomial infections.” The Infection Control Nurse stated, “she thought the previous DNS [Director of Nursing Services] contacted the health department about nausea and vomiting and diarrhea but was unable to provide documentation.”

Fifteen minutes later at 10:20 AM, the licensed nurse “provided documentation of the handwashing infection control in-service that was carried out with employees, dated 12/14/2014 [before the spread of infection occurred]. Additionally, supplied was an infection control surveillance that was dated 04/02/2015 through 04/08/2015.” However, the state investigator noted that the Certified Nursing Assistant observed to not take appropriate precautions to control the spread of infection “was not identified on either documentation. The facility did not provide any further documentation.”

Our Kimberly nursing home neglect attorneys recognize the failing to take necessary precautions and follow protocols to control the spread of infection could place the health and well-being of every resident in jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Oak Creek Rehabilitation Center of Kimberly might be considered negligence or mistreatment, especially if residents were re-infected with E. coli bacteria due to substandard care.

HIGHLAND MANOR OF ELKO
2850 Ruby Vista Drive
Elko, Nevada 89801
(775) 753-5500

A “Not for Profit” 112-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Follow All Protocols When a Resident Complains of Severe Chest Pain and Notify Their Physician Immediately to Receive Life-Saving Orders

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 08/20/2015, a notation was made during an annual licensure and certification survey by a state investigator concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure a post-fall assessment protocol was followed for [a resident at the facility and] pain medication was provided to a resident who complained of severe chest pain.” The state investigator also noted that the facility failed to immediately notify the physician “when a resident complained of chest pain.”

The deficient practice was noted by state surveyor reviewing a resident’s clinical records were a 01/31/2015 9:55 PM Nursing Progress Note revealed that the resident “was complaining of chest pain. The note did not indicate the attending physician was notified.” The following day at 1:31 PM on 02/01/2015, the resident’s Nursing Progress Note documented that the “resident complained [again] of chest pain at 9:30 AM. According to the notes, the vital signs were within normal limits. […and] at 11:50 AM, the resident manifested the chest pain with a pain scale of 10/10” on a sliding scale where 10 is the most extreme pain.

The nurses took the resident’s vital signs that revealed a “blood pressure of 98/68, heart rate 101 beats per minute, respirations 24 per minute and oxygen saturation of 78% to 79%. Oxygen was administered with a mask (the type of mask was not specified) at eight liters per minute and the oxygen saturation increased to 87% after 10 minutes.” The state investigator recognized that the resident’s Progress Notes revealed that “the resident verbalized pain was in the left shoulder and ear.” The notes also indicate that the resident’s “physician was called at 12:15 PM. The physician returned the call 12:30 PM, and gave instructions to transport the resident to an acute care facility if the pain persisted.”

The nursing staff called “Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at 12:45 PM” that day, because “the pain did not relieve.” Emergency medical services arrived at the facility at 12:15 PM “to transport the resident to an acute care facility. The record lacked documented evidence of what pain medication was provided to the resident and the reasons why the attending physician was not called at the onset time of the chest pain.”

The investigator interviewed the facility’s Director of Nursing at 3:50 PM on 08/19/2015 who explained that the resident “always wants to go to a hospital [which is the] reason why the notification to the physician and the transfer to an emergency room were delayed.” After review of the clinical record, the Director of Nursing “confirm the resident was complaining of chest pain since 01/31/2015 at 9:30 PM and the physician was not notified.” The Director of Nursing also “confirmed the resident was complaining of severe chest pain for more than three hours and medications were not provided […and acknowledged that] the physician should have been notified immediately and pain medication administered.”

The following morning at 11:50 AM on 08/20/2015, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) working at the facility “explained in the event a resident complained of chest pain, the vital signs would be obtained, checking for arrhythmia, shortness of breath or perspirations. If those symptoms were not present, the resident would be monitory.” The LPN also explained “if the pain persisted and symptoms were present, the physician would be notified to request instructions. The LPN was not aware that the physician had not been notified immediately in the event of a chest pain.”

Our Elko nursing home neglect attorneys recognize the failing to follow procedures and protocols when a resident complains of severe chest pain could place the life and well-being of the resident in immediate jeopardy. The deficient practice might be considered negligence or mistreatment especially because the resident endured the highest level of pain for many hours until the physician was notified by the nursing staff. In addition, the staff failed to follow the facility’s Revised May 2014 policy titled: Emergency Care Procedures that reads in part:

“Acute Coronary: Signs and Symptoms: Chest Pain: Steady, not relieved by rest or [medications]; pain may radiate widely, may produce arrhythmia, shock or cardiac failure. Drop in blood pressure: dyspnea, anxiety and restlessness. Treatment: obtain vitals, notify doctor immediately, transport the hospital.”

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MINI-CASSIA CARE CENTER
1729 Miller Avenue
Burley, Idaho 83318
(208) 678-9474

A “For-Profit” 68-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Report and Investigate Any Act or Reported Act of Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment of Residents

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 05/20/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “thoroughly investigate a resident’s allegation that he had been abused by staff.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Mini-Cassia Care Center involved one resident at the facility “who was the subject of a report filed by the facility and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW), Bureau of Facility Standards (BFS).” The deficient practice of the nursing staff was a part of the facility’s investigation into a resident’s allegation of physical abuse as identified in its 05/19/2015 report.”

The state agency conducting the investigation noted the facility’s investigation into the resident’s “allegation of physical abuse, as detailed in its 05/19/2015 report to the BFS [Bureau of Facility Standards] did not include:

  • Evidence that the facility adequately attempted to identify the accused staff member;
  • Evidence that the facility interviewed any day, evening or night shift staff members;
  • Evidence that that any other resident in the facility was interviewed;
  • Evidence that [the resident] or any other resident in the facility was protected from further potential abuse while the facility investigates the allegation of staff abuse.”

The state investigator also noted the facility’s Investigative Report failed to include any information either disproving the resident’s allegation of staff abuse or supporting its own conclusion that [the resident] was not physically abused by the unidentified staff member.”

The investigator also noted the facility’s failed practice of not taking appropriate measures “expose residents to the potential for harm from staff members, visitors, and or other residents who may engage in physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, and/or mental abuse, as well as involuntary seclusion, neglect, and/or misappropriation of property.”

The complaint investigation was initiated on 05/19/2015 when the facility “submitted a report to BFS that documented a bath aide providing a shower to [the resident] on 05/11/2015 discovered three scratches to his upper right arm, bruise to his right elbow, an abrasion to his right foot on the top of his instep, and a red/brown scab to his left groin/hip area, which he reported to the on-duty nurse.”

The report also indicated that “when the nurse asked whether the resident knew how the injuries occurred, the report documented, he told her, ‘Nurse (name) threw me in bed and did it.’ When informed the facility did not employ a nurse by the name provided by the resident, [the resident] responded, ‘I can’t help it if I don’t know what the nurse’s names are. Her name is (name)’.”

The state investigator reviewed the facility’s 05/19/2015 report under Significant Information that documented “in the name of the nurse [the resident] initially identified as his alleged abuser was actually the name of a former staff member had not work to the facility for a year. However, the resident identified the location of the staff member’s office, and stated the nurse who caused his injuries was actually a friend of a former staff member who still work at the facility.”

A part of the investigative report that was completed by the facility’s RSD (Resident Services Director) documented “I went on to ask him when she had thrown him in bed and he said, ‘night before last.’ I asked if he could remember what she looks like. He sat for a few minutes and then described her as the following, ‘white, middle-aged, average weight, light brown medium length hair, I don’t think she has glasses. She was here night before last before midnight.’ I did name off the different nurses that do work the shift and he said ‘No’ to all of them. I asked if he was sure it was a nurse and maybe it was an aide instead. He continued to insist that it was (the former employee’s) friend the nurse. He said again, ‘it’s (former employee’s) friend and I haven’t seen her for quite a while, she doesn’t work here very often.”

The state investigator reviewed the resident’s form titled Re-Create the Event: Summary that determined “that the bruise on the top of his right foot is due to himself propelling his wheelchair in hitting it on the left foot pedal. The foot portion of the foot pedal was loose and did not stay locked in place. The bruise on his right elbow was caused by himself repositioning in his wheelchair and bumping into the armrest… His left-hand does match up to where the scratches are.” In addition, the report indicates that the resident “is a smoker and the red/brown scab area to the hip/groin area appears to be from his cigarettes […and that the resident] is supervised when he smokes and he also wears a smoking apron.”

The resident’s 12/13/2014 Annual MDS (Minimum Data Set) reveals that the resident is moderately cognitively impaired with a Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) score of eight and does not have physical behavior directed toward others, and is “receptive to cares.”

The Resident Services Director indicated that she conducted the facility’s “investigation into the allegation of staff abuse and was familiar with the applicable regulatory requirements, as well as BFS informational letter […and stated] no other method than reciting a series of names to the resident was employed to identify the staff member [who the resident] accused of causing his injuries.”

The state investigator asked the Resident Services Director “how the facility determined a cigarette ash had passed to the resident’s fire resistant smoking apron, trousers and adult brief to cause a burn on his groin area.” The RDS did not answer. In addition, it was revealed that during the facility investigation, “no other residents were interviewed and she knew of no other allegations of abuse.”

An interview was conducted at 2:00 PM on 05/20/2015 with the facility’s Administrator, Director of Nursing, Corporate Consultant and Chief Operating Officer. The Administrator admitted he was “familiar with the contents of the Informational letter 2014 – 04 explaining “why he reviewed, approved and signed the report of the facility’s deficient investigation into [the resident’s] allegation of staff abuse.” The Administrator revealed that the Resident Services Director “had no specialized education or training beyond her nurse aide certification and stated ‘I assumed those [missing components of the investigation) had been done. I had verbal encounters which led me to believe it had been done.”

When the Corporate Consultant was interviewed “in an attempt to ascertain the identity of the nurse, the resident said caused his injuries”, the Corporate Consultant stated, “we are where we made a kind of a mess of things, we are planning to do a more thorough investigation.”

Our Burley nursing home abuse lawyers recognize failing to follow protocols when reporting and investigating any allegation of abuse has the potential of causing any and all residents in the facility harm, injury or death. The deficient practice by the Administrator, Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Consultant, Director of Nursing and nursing staff at Mini-Cassina Care Center might be considered additional abuse, mistreatment or neglect because their actions failed to follow the federal regulatory requirement SS 483.13 (c) (3) that reads in part:

“The facility must have evidence that all alleged violations are thoroughly investigated, and must prevent further potential abuse while the investigation is in progress.”

In addition, the facility did not follow the Informational Letter 2014-04 from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) that reads in part:

“In cases of injury of unknown source, all staff having possible contact with the resident over the 24 hours prior to the injury discovery must be interviewed.”

“All visible injuries must be measured and described in detail.”

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Protecting a Loved One from Abuse and Neglect

Understanding the legal right your loved one is the best way to assist your spouse, parent or grandparent in avoiding many difficulties they face while residing in a nursing facility. The common violations that jeopardize the resident’s health and well-being while under the care of the nursing staff include:

  • Facility-acquired bedsores
  • Unexplained broken bones, lacerations, cuts, burns and bruises
  • Signs of dehydration and malnutrition
  • Injuries and broken bones from an unsupervised fall
  • Injuries of an unknown origin
  • A lack of acceptable standards of care
  • Medication errors that cause serious reactions or death
  • The spread of infection throughout the facility
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Wandering or eloping from the facility without notice or supervision of the nursing staff
  • Wrongful death

If you suspect your loved one has been mistreated while residing in a nursing facility, it is your right to obtain answers to serious questions and hold abuse of the negligent parties accountable.

Many cases involve abuse and neglect of the elderly will warrant criminal prosecution. However, most incidences involve civil litigation as an appropriate solution to correct the problem and hold those legally responsible financially accountable for their actions.

Civil lawsuits are brought by plaintiffs who seek to legally hold every defendant at fault fully responsible for damages sustained because of the losses, harm or injury suffered by the victim.

When the family takes legal action, they make it known to the nursing home industry that the misconduct and inappropriate actions have occurred. The family takes steps to ensure that the well-being of their loved one and others who reside at the facility are provided due consideration to ensure their safety and maximize their quality of life.

What to Do Next

The best way to protect your loved one is to trust your instincts. If you, or others, feel something is just not right, ask questions, such as:

  • Why has my loved one becomes suddenly withdrawn, immobile or non-communicative?
  • What happened to cause these new injuries that no one desires to explain?
  • Why was I not called as my loved one’s responsible party when there was a change in his/her condition?
  • Is my loved one’s physician involved in the decision-making process because they have been notified of all changes made in providing care and medication?
  • Was the incident that caused my loved one’s injury or death fully documented and investigated according to state and federal regulations?
  • Why does my loved one’s room appear unsanitary or smell of urine/feces?
  • Serving as an advocate for my loved one, how do I make an appointment to speak with the Director of Nursing or Administrator to voice my concerns?

If the nursing staff and administration is not forthcoming in providing answers, it is often critical to discuss the case with a competent Nevada elder abuse attorney who specializes in abuse and neglect cases.

Can I Afford to Hire a Lawyer?

The Elko nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC accept all cases involving abuse, mistreatment and neglect through contingency fee arrangements. This means our law firm provides all legal services without the need of paying us an upfront fee. This way your loved one receives immediate legal representation and all of our legal fees are paid only after we have negotiated an acceptable out of court settlement or have won your case at trial.

We encourage you to contact our law offices today by calling (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free no obligation full case review. All information you share with us remains confidential.

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For additional information on Nevada 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.

Client Reviews

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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