A lawsuit in New York claims that a nursing home’s residents were forced to lie in their own feces and urine for extended periods of time. The class action suit filed in Syracuse, New York claimed that potentially hundreds or thousands of patients may have been affected by the nursing home, James Square Health and Rehabilitation Centre. Unfortunately, this is just another nail in the coffin at James Square, which has a long history of poor patient care.
The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home and assisted living facility is unsafe and understaffed. The report points to the death of Theresa A. Farrugio who died at the facility in 2015. According to the lawsuit, after Farrugio fell down the facility’s employees then put her back in her chair and gave her a sedative without taking any of her vitals. She was “left to fend for herself,” according to the lawsuit. When her son arrived the next day, he took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with “respiratory failure, pneumonia, acute renal failure and a urinary tract infection.” She died at the hospital only days later from problems that could have been prevented if the nursing home had provided her with adequate care.
The lawsuit alleges that the urinary tract infection was a result of Farrugio having to lay in her own waste for an extended period of time. Susan Karpen, who also lived at the facility, alleges she was also left in her own urine and feces for extended periods of time. According to her, residents often go entire nights without being changed.
The assisted living facility is no stranger to legal problems. According to Syracuse.com, the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud unit has been investigating the facility for the last year. Last summer the facility was raided by the police in an effort to locate evidence for this investigation. In addition, James Square also has the lowest rating by government regulators when it comes to meeting basic care for its residents and has been fined on several occasions for its neglect and mistreatment.
The nursing home declined to comment on the lawsuit but did point to several changes that have been made since the Attorney General’s fraud unit amped up its investigation this summer. Stanley Wojciechowski replaced the previous administrator and, according to him, has focused on “hiring more staff and paying closer attention to the concerns of residents’ families.” Between the lawsuits and the government investigations, it may be too-little, too-late for the staff at James Square to turn the facility around.