Nursing Home Death Reminds Us of Need for Vigilance

A California nursing home has been ordered to pay the largest fines allowed under state law following the death of a patient. For us here in Oregon this nursing home neglect and abuse case, though it comes from out-of-state, serves as a powerful reminder of the important role courts and regulators play in keeping watch over those charged with helping vulnerable seniors.

According to a report in the Orange County Register the case stems from the death of 93-year-old Donald Bodkin, who, the paper reports, “died in September from an undetected ruptured intestinal ulcer and infection.” Bodkin was not a long-time resident of the home but, rather, had checked in only a few weeks earlier for a temporary stay while recovering from hip surgery.

The paper reports that the state believes the home did not assess Bodkin’s condition properly, failed to tell his doctor once the symptoms became obvious and ignored warnings from both family members and an occupational therapist “that he was lethargic and in pain.” The nursing home has expressed regret for Bodkin’s death but said in a statement that it does not believe the actions of any of its staff “caused or contributed to this unfortunate event.”
This tragedy is a reminder of how important it is for state governments to supervise nursing homes and for our courts to enforce the rules and regulations government puts in place to protect our seniors. When Oregon nursing home neglect or abuse take place and the people charged with helping our loved ones through their final years fail to perform their jobs, an Oregon nursing home abuse attorney can help families and other loved ones win justice.

Orange County Register: Nursing Home fined in Patient Death