By Tish King, CV&T Staff Writer
Irvine Health and Rehabilitation Center is again facing a wrongful death law suit.
Lonnie Cox, as administrator of the estate of his father, Leonard Cox, has filed suit against Extendicare Homes Inc. d/b/a Irvine Health and Rehabilitation Center, its governing bodies, John Does 1 through 5, unknown defendants, and administrator, Benjamin J. Massaro, claiming the facility caused the premature death of his father.
After a long wait by his family to get him into a facility that was close to their home, Cox became a resident of Irvine Health and Rehab Center from Feb. 21, 2007 through June 4, 2007. He was then transferred to the VA Medical Center and died on July 22, 2007.
The suit states that upon information and belief, Leonard Cox was looking to the defendants for treatment of his total needs for custodial, nursing and medical care, and not merely as the situs where others not associated with the facility would treat him.
The suit claims that due to the wrongful conduct of the defendants, Cox suffered accelerated deterioration of his health and physical condition beyond that caused by the normal aging process, as well as falls, urinary tract infections, multiple skin tears, abrasions and bruises, constipation, poor hygiene, medication errors, possible seizure, possible MRSA, edema throughout extremities and abdomen, dehydration, severe pain, and death. The suit also claims that Cox suffered extreme pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, hospitalizations, degradation, unnecessary loss of personal dignity, and loss of life, all of which were caused by the wrongful conduct of the defendants.
The claims also state that the facility failed to maintain staff levels necessary to provide care to Cox; that the facility was not in compliance with resident care policies and that appropriate corrective measures were not implemented to correct problems concerning inadequate resident care. Some of the other claims were failure to maintain all records in accordance with accepted professional standards and practices; failure to provide adequate supervision to the nursing staff to ensure that Cox received adequate and proper sanitary care, medications and skin care; that Cox did not receive adequate assessment of his nutritional needs, or adequate and proper nutrition, fluids, supervision, medication, skin care, sanitary care, and failure to obtain and record weight fluctuations. And with these regards, the facility showed negligence, nursing home defendants acted with oppression, fraud, malice, or were negligent by acting with wanton or reckless disregard for the health and safety of Leonard Cox.
The suit claimed that Leonard Cox was physically and mentally helpless and was abused, causing serious physical injury, that he was placed in a situation that might cause him serious physical injury and/or caused torture, cruel confinement or cruel punishment. Violation of KRS 530.080 claiming the endangerment of the welfare of an incompetent person, by knowingly acting in a manner which resulted in an injury to his physical and/or mental welfare.
Administrator Benjamin J. Massaro was named as a defendant and charged as having breached his duties of care to Leonard Cox by failing to meet the requirements to operate and provides services in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and codes and with accepted professional standards and principles that apply to professionals providing services in such a facility.
The suit claims that as a direct and proximate result of the wrongful death suffered by Leonard Cox, Lonnie Cox asserts a claim for judgment for all compensatory and punitive damages against all defendants including, but not limited to, medical expenses, funeral expenses and other related costs, the grief suffered by statutory beneficiaries, extreme pain and suffering,, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, hospitalizations, degradation, unnecessary loss of personal dignity, and loss of life, in an amount to be determined by the jury, but in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of the court and exceeding that required for federal court jurisdiction in diversity of citizenship cases, as well as costs and attorney’s fees, plus costs and all other relief to which the plaintiff is entitled by law, and trial by jury.