Earlier this week, Premier Healthcare announced plans to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of Nancy Young.
Premier Healthcare, the company that owns Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center recently agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the estate of Nancy Young. Young was an elderly resident at Pleasant Acres. On December 15, 2018, she died of complications from injuries she sustained from falling in a corridor on December 8.
According to the suit, which was filed in York County in 2019, Young, “who suffered from dementia, fell after she tried to wander into another resident’s room and that resident slammed her door shut.” Pam Gay, a coroner with the county, ruled that “Young died of blunt-force injuries complicated by chronic medical issues, including cardiovascular disease.” Specifically, Young “suffered a broken thigh, broken wrist, and other injuries during the fall.”
In filing the lawsuit, Young’s estate argued that Pleasant Acres “didn’t properly supervise Young or provide her with devices she needed to be ambulatory.” The estate also noted the facility was understaffed at the time. Earlier this year, a settlement was proposed and on January 6, Young’s estate “filed a motion in York County Court asking that the proposed settlement of $95,000 be approved.” The very next day, the settlement was approved. However, as part of the settlement, Pleasant Acres will not admit wrongdoing, and Lisa Sofia, the CEO of Premier Healthcare, pushed back against the estate’s allegations and said:
“I can assure you that Pleasant Acres continues to provide quality care and services to its residents.”
When asked about the staffing shortage allegations, Sofia said, “Every concern that is brought to our attention, just like it was with the county, is being addressed.”
It’s important to note that when Premier Healthcare took over the nursing home on October 3, 2018, the new management was notified by employees that there “weren’t enough staff members to properly care for the residents.” To make matters worse, before Young’s fall, the “state Department of Health had already put Pleasant Acres on notice about the staffing issue,” according to the suit. Additionally, the facility “knew Young had a history of dementia and falling, and it knew she could be seriously hurt if she fell,” the suit stated. In fact, Young “fell a number of times after coming to Pleasant Acres in February 2018, including three times in her first month there, and notes were made in her file that staff should have her use her walker and wear shoes,” the lawsuit further stated. The facility was also supposed to check on Young regularly.
According to the lawsuit, “during November 2018, staff failed to check on Young during 11 shifts and in the first week of December, there were no visual checks of Young done in two out of seven days of the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift.” On top of that, the suit alleged “staff didn’t ensure Young used her walker or wore shoes as she walked around the nursing home.” The day she fell for the last time, she was “found lying on the floor of West Hall and was wearing only slipper-socks and didn’t have her walker,” according to the suit.