Nursing Home Sued In Woman’s Death

posted on:
January 18, 2002

author:
Chanda Temple

A woman sued a national nursing home chain and its Center Point location over her mother’s death, saying the company’s negligent care hastened the woman’s demise.

Amelia Day filed the wrongful death suit Monday in Jefferson County Circuit Court against Beverly Enterprises-Alabama In., which also does business as Beverly Healthcare East in Center Point.

Ms. Day claims that her mother, Clara Nell Mote, entered the Center Point nursing home on Sept. 9, 2000, and died there Jan. 11, 2001. The suit said the poor care Ms. Mote, 75, received led to malnutrition, bed sores, dehydration, and other maladies prior to dying. The woman also lay in her own waste for long periods of time on dirty bed sheets, which worsened her bed sores, according to the suit.

“She’s a lady who developed pressure sores from not being adequately cared for,” Ms. Day’s lawyer Jerry Taylor, of the Montgomery firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles. “These pressure sores were allowed to deteriorate to the point where she developed a blood infection that killed her.”

Other defendants in the suit include Arkansas-based Beverly Enterprises In., and Iraj Alipour, a former interim administrator at the Center Point facility. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, as well as attorney fees and other costs.

Efforts to reach Beverly officials for comment were unsuccessful.

The suit says staffers and others complained that the facility had inadequate staffing, which resulted in residents’ call bells going unanswered and workers falsifying charts on rendered services to residents. Lack of staffing also led to Ms. Mote and other residents not being turned and repositioned in their beds, fed, kept clean or given adequate fluids, the suit said.

The suit also includes citations for deficiencies where a state surveyor felt the home had not complied with state and federal nursing home regulations concerning resident care.

An office with the Alabama Department of Public Health does yearly nursing home surveys. Brenda Furlow, director of the enforcement unit for the division of health care facilities with the state health department, said Thursday the home was cited for quality of care issues in December 1999, but when officials revisited the home in February 2000 the problems had been corrected.

She said a March 2001 survey showed the Healthcare East facility had some deficiencies in quality of care, which she said are commonly cited in nursing homes. When the agency revisited the home last May, it was determined they were “back in substantial compliance.”

“As far as enforcement, we have not had any sanctions against the facility,” she said.

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