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Colorado family sues nursing home over the death of 82 yo beaten by another resident

Denver, CO – Caring for an elderly relative with dementia is quite tough and many families have to put their loved ones in a nursing home, where they hope they will be kept safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as one Colorado family learned in the most brutal of ways. Now the family is suing the Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford for the tragic death of 82-year-old Floyd Martinez, savagely beaten by a fellow resident.

Mr. Martinez was known for his habit of entering other residents’ rooms and going through their things. People with dementia will do all sorts of crazy things. In April 2020, he made the mistake of entering the room of Matthew Singleton Sr.(63), a man with a cognitive impairment, known for his violent outbursts and frequent mood swings. Singleton caught the older man in the act and brutally beat him. Mr. Martinez died three weeks later of complications of blunt force injury. Singleton was charged with assault but died before going to trial

Mr. Martinez’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. The lawsuit also alleges the Pioneer Health Care Center has violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, misrepresenting itself as safe. The staff is accused of failing to watch over both men involved in the incident, especially Mr. Singleton who had recently assaulted other residents. Also, the staff initially reported the victim had suffered only minor injuries, so the bleeding in his brain was not diagnosed for several days.

When can you sue a nursing home in Colorado?

Nursing home neglect is tragically common and not only in the US. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 12% of nursing home caregivers admitted to neglecting residents. Most neglect cases happen in understaffed nursing homes. Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the vast majority of nursing homes in the US have complained of a lack of adequate personnel. An inspection at the Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford in February 2020 found that the institution was indeed understaffed. The inspection report quotes a certified nursing assistant complaining that sometimes she worked in the dementia unit with only one other person, so they weren’t always able to keep residents from wandering into each other’s rooms or supervise the aggressive ones.

Lack of qualified personnel can lead to various types of neglect:

Medical Neglect

This refers to staff not giving residents their medications on time, ignoring bedsores or even broken bones, and failing to call 911 in an emergency.

Neglect of a patient’s basic living needs

Residents who are unable to care for themselves rely on the personnel to give them food and water. If the home is understaffed and the existing personnel neglects the residents’ most basic human needs, this can lead to severe cases of severe malnutrition, dehydration, or death.

Neglect of Hygiene

This refers to the personnel failing to bathe residents, change their clothes/bedding, or clean their rooms regularly.

 

If someone you loved died from neglect in a nursing home, you need to contact a Denver wrongful death lawyer and bring those responsible to justice. 

The Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford was found guilty of negligence in the case of another resident, an 88-year-old man who died as a result of complications from an infected bedsore the size of a baseball. In 2012, the family was awarded 3.2 million in compensation.

If you lost someone after they were abused or neglected in a nursing home, talk to an experienced wrongful death lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm which offers help to bereaved families in the Denver area.

Contact info:

Bryan & Terrill 

333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B 

Englewood, CO 80110

(720) 923-2333

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