Nate Taylor wrote an article for The Coloradoan about a recent verdict for a family against nursing home involving a resident who fell because the nursing home refused to respond to the resident’s call light.   The fall led to her untimely death.  This happens all the time in nursing homes and is a result of understaffing.  The nursing home does not want to pay for adequate and competent staff because it will hurt their profit margins.  The staff becomes overworked and fails to respond to call lights.

While the family says her 87-year-old mother Doris Wolfe’s November 2007 death was the hardest thing she’s had to live through, a close second was the lawsuit her family endured suing Spring Creek Healthcare Center.  "We’re just a little tiny family of four against this huge corporation of nursing homes," Johnson said, referring to Spring Creek Healthcare Center’s parent company, Sava Senior Care. "You would never, ever, ever go through (a lawsuit) for any reason other than somebody had been harmed and you felt like you had to fight that fight. It was brutal."

Sava Senior Care owns at least 185 nursing homes across the country, including Spring Creek and Fort Collins Health Care Center.  They are represented by Lori Proctor.  We had a case against them last November when a resident fell three times in a 24 hour period.  The jury awarded us $200,000 in actual damages and $600,000 in punitive damages. 

Johnson said her mother stayed at Spring Creek for 17 days to rehabilitate following back surgery at Poudre Valley Hospital. Wolfe broke her ankle the day she was supposed to be sent home.

According to an investigation by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Wolfe may have turned on her call light to request help to go to the bathroom. When Wolfe thought an "extended amount of time passed" and no one answered her request, she opted to try to walk toward her walker on her own and fell and broke her ankle.  Jay Reinan, a Denver lawyer who represented the Wolfe family, said Doris Wolfe did push the button.

"As a result of staffing deficiencies, Mrs. Wolfe was left to decide between soiling herself or attempting to go to the bathroom on her own, and that eventually led to her death," Reinan said. "With a lot of older folks, dignity is important, and that’s what happened to Mrs. Wolfe."

The health department investigation also indicated that Spring Creek X-rayed Wolfe’s ankle and found no fracture, but a family physician looked at the X-ray results and determined it was fractured in two places.

Johnson said she hopes the jury’s decision will lead to changes at the nursing home. "As scary and intimidating as it was, that’s why we did this – for change," Johnson said.

 

23 Thoughts on “$375,000 verdict against Sava Senior Care

  1. Is SAVA going bankrupt? They are apparently not paying their bills and cutting their staffing hours back to dangerous levels.

  2. Ray Mullman on January 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm said:

    Bob:

    I had not heard that but it wouldn’t surprise me. They seem to make sure that the nursing homes have no money so they won’t have to pay judgments due to their neglect and negligence. The parent company has lots of money but they give it to the officers of the corporation.

    How did you hear they were not paying bills and cutting staff?

  3. Who is their parent company?

  4. The parent company changes all the time. Murray Forman, Leonard Grunstein, Avi Schron, etc own and operate all the facilities through a maze of corporate shells and bankrupt LLCs.

    Sue all known entities liste din cost reports, applications for license, and license and then try and figure it out.

  5. I WORK AT ONE OF SAVA’S FACILITY IN CARMICHAEL, CA. IM A CHARGE NURSE AND LET ME BE THE FIRST ONE TO SAY THIS, THIS SAVA COMPANY CARES MORE ABOUT PAPER WORKS THAN THEIR PATIENTS AND THEIR NURSES. THE FACILITY THAT IM WORKING AT RIGHT NOW HAVE BEEN HIRING NEWLY GRAD WHO HAS NOT BEEN ORIENTED WELL TO THE FACILITY AND MY FACILITY HAVE BEEN LETTING GO THIER BEST NURSES BECAUSE THEY EITHER PUT TOO MUCH WORK ON US OR THEY DONT EVEN CONSIDER HOW MUCH HARD WORK THESE NURSES DID FOR THIS FACILITY, INTEAD THEY DOWNGRADE THEIR NURSES. OUR FACILITY “MISSION CARMICHAEL H.C.” HAS THE ALL TIME LOWEST MORAL IN YEARS…. I FEEL SORRY FOR THE NEWLY ADMITTED PATIENTS BECAUSE NOT MUCH NURSE TO PATIENT CARE IS BEING DONE BECAUSE THERE IS NOT MUCH TIME TO DO THAT DUE TO “SAVA SENIOR CARE” PREFERS PAPERWORKS TO BE AND MUST BE COMPLETELY DONE! WE WILL EITHER GET WRITTEN UP OR BE DOWNGARDED IF WE DONT COMPLETE THE PAPERWORKS. IF “THEY” SAY THEY HAVE PROOF THAT WE TAKE CARE OF THESE PATIENTS? THEY EITHER “DID SOMETHING UNDER THE TABLE” TO MAKE THEM LOOK GOOD.. TRUST ME WITH THIS… IM STILL WORKING AT THIS FACILITY BECAUSE I WANT TO SHARE THESE HORRIBLE TREATMENT TO NURSES AND PATIENTS THAT THIS COMPANY DOES..

  6. Miryam on August 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm said:

    Look this is what happens when you not only cut back staff but when DHEC does not allow restraints for residents who need them!!!!!! Get real nursing homes are not equipped to give one on one care to mentally confused residents who try to get up all shift out of their chairs and out of bed. Residents ARE going to get hurt!!!Unfortunately this is just the facts!! DHEC has restricted the nurses and nursing assistants to where they are unable to care for these residents!!!

  7. Ray Mullman on August 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm said:

    Why are they cutting back on qualified staff and training new employees? There are numerous preventative measures and safety devices to prevent the vast majority of potential falls. Proper assessment and interventions are necessary but without an adequate number of well-trained staff, injuries will result. Patient safety must come first.
    DHEC does allow and authorize restraints for certain circumstances. However, restraints are not the answer. Safety devices and adequate staffing are required.

  8. JS is correct. I am also a SAVA employee. SAVA cares more about the $$ than they do the patients. This is absolutely correct. They are doing any and everything to cut their costs and attempt to generate revenue to make up for Obama’s governmental funding cuts. The people up top are continously getting their pockets greased while the people who give direct care are paid less and overworked. It will all come to light at some point. I just hope sooner than later- for the patients’ sakes.

  9. Donnia Pierce on November 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm said:

    I to am a sava employee it is sad but I to agree with the above comments, one of the best cnas we had responded to a residents need by cleaning them up and putting a border cloth dsg on him because a new nurse refused and the cna was fired. That is ridiculous, she responded to the resident’s needs, he had just returned home from the hospital for infection to the wound.The residents are all upsetthier families threatening to take them out. She was the one they trusted, this girl would work 7days a week, never complain,, BIG MISTAKE for thier residents,,,her termination slip gaVE NO REASON FOR TERMINATION

  10. robert m. on September 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm said:

    Sava has just cut my nurse’s pay by 3 %, for an ANTICIPATED loss due to Medicare and Medicaid pay changes. BS. The paper pushers are not losing money, but moral and patient care will suffer.

  11. Wow–did they cut the owners’ compensation by 3%? I doubt it.
    That is awful. Are they cutting everyone’s pay nationwide or is it facility specific?

  12. luv2nurse on October 12, 2011 at 2:28 am said:

    Apparently, nationwide. I work in Westchester, IL and they had the audacity to state, “It’s not just you. It’s us too.” Meaning management, i.e., DON, Administrator. The problem I have with the entire plate of crap is, there are many reasons not to keep your job due to a pay-cut such as, how’s your profile-savings? Lets face it, there are numerous job openings and opportunities out there. No, they dont want us to job hop, buts lets be honest, its reasons like PAY CUTS that put us in that position!! Yes we would be better off laid-off because then we would have legit reason to get UNEMPLOYMENT compensation which we are entitled to being US Citizens. But no, they stick it to us anyway. Do I hear Sally Field?? UNION! UNION! UNION! UNION!

  13. luv2nurse on October 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm said:

    Apparently nationwide, if not at least regionally. I work in Westchester, IL and we were told that all employees making $15.00/hr or more would get the 3% paycut beginning 10/06/11. There are many reasons not to keep your job due to a paycut. What’s your portfolio like, for example do you have a good IRA in place or any decent savings in place? Sava knows this is good business for them because we dont have the luxury of getting laid-off, hence collect unemployment benefits. Tsk tsk and shame on SAVA. We dont even get 3% annual wage increases – which is below the cost of living increase. So, yes SAVA has stuck it to us whether its because of Medicare or just greedy corporate powers that be-if youre a loyal SAVA employee stick with them, but it will only get worse. Or you have the choice to move on to another conglomerate. I hear Sally Field in the distance…UNION! UNION! UNION! Good luck y’all–

  14. I worked for SAVA for many years and have seen lot’s of cuts. They do not realize that the resident’s and families are their bread and butter. They are the reason that these people no matter what position they are in have a job.. get real SAVA.. Resident based my big butt… If the “customer” is not happy, then they will fail. I hope the fall on their tails. They do not know how to treat their employees like human beings, more like a number that is of not important and can EASILY be replaced. So not true.

  15. Joanne on April 25, 2012 at 11:37 am said:

    I saw first hand the neglect that went on in the Arcola Nursing Home in Maryland. My mom was in there. Let me tell you that they made my mom sit in dirty diapers for hours! Call lights were never answered. And the only time they saw a nurse was when it was medication time. I called to complain and got no satisfaction. Instead the administrator said that I had no concerns that she could see, as I had taken my mother out of there. That place was a nightmare!

  16. Joanne on April 25, 2012 at 11:38 am said:

    I saw first hand the neglect that went on in the Arcola Nursing Home in Maryland. My mom was in there. Let me tell you that they made my mom sit in dirty diapers for hours! Call lights were never answered. And the only time they saw a nurse was when it was medication time. I called to complain and got no satisfaction. Instead the administrator said that I had no concerns that she could see, as I had taken my mother out of there. That place was a nightmare!

  17. Joanne on April 25, 2012 at 11:46 am said:

    I saw first hand the neglect that went on in the Arcola Nursing Home in Maryland. My mom was in there. Let me tell you that they made my mom sit in dirty diapers for hours! Call lights were never answered. And the only time they saw a nurse was when it was medication time. I called to complain and got no satisfaction. Instead the administrator said that I had no concerns that she could see, as I had taken my mother out of there. That place was a nightmare!

  18. patra on June 13, 2012 at 9:45 am said:

    I work at a Sava care home in maryland its terrible.Our hours are cut all the time for no reason. The residents are not getting the care they need at all! Patients fall all the time! We are all tired,we are not appreciated at all.We get a call at home to not come in to save money but our facilty is being renovated!!! Lots of employes know about the lawsuits are are leaving. The are letting people go for no reason and moral is low! The employes dont care anymore and nether does administation,they are buring the heads in the sand! I feel so sorry for the residents!Also im sure the are stealing money from our paychecks! I work the same hours my paycheck is always short and I have to go to payrole!Weres all that money going other employes tell me the same!

  19. patra on June 13, 2012 at 9:45 am said:

    I work at a Sava care home in maryland its terrible.Our hours are cut all the time for no reason. The residents are not getting the care they need at all! Patients fall all the time! We are all tired,we are not appreciated at all.We get a call at home to not come in to save money but our facilty is being renovated!!! Lots of employes know about the lawsuits are are leaving. The are letting people go for no reason and moral is low! The employes dont care anymore and nether does administation,they are buring the heads in the sand! I feel so sorry for the residents!Also im sure the are stealing money from our paychecks! I work the same hours my paycheck is always short and I have to go to payrole!Weres all that money going other employes tell me the same!

  20. dawn mcbride on March 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm said:

    yes I’m a therapist who was recently work for sava and the fraud that we endure for billing for medicare. We have discussed a civil case against them many many employees they have poor integrity. Sad because the pt suffer.

  21. Sava, recycles bad administrator, they fire them from one nursing home then move them to a different nursing home, just like bad priests. The administrators run the day to day operation. This means for residents the problems never get resolved just moved around. I wonder if the public is aware if a admin comes in under budget they get a large bonus at the end of the year. I had a Sava admin arrested and locked up for drunk driving. He was just transferred to a different building.

  22. Following surgery, my spouse was taken to a Sava facility in N. CA. The nurses are busy all the time, mostly doing “paperwork” it seems, not with patients. Lights are on for a long time before someone comes. Spouse has gotten up & gone to bathroom alone because no one comes. I’m afraid of a fall. I have several friends who have had loved ones in same facility & they gave me some bad reports! I stay there all day, just to be on the safe side. Hopefully spouse will be home soon! You just have to be watchful. One thing I do like is the therapists have been wonderful. I can’t give them enough praise for their hard work & caring attitudes!!!

  23. fedupnurse on February 19, 2014 at 8:10 am said:

    I am a nurse is well. we recently had a fall at work which resulted in the passing of the resident. State was called in. We where told to lie and only say what they told us to say.if we was to say anything different they would fire us.I have been struggling with this because I know that it is so wrong but what do you do? I am a single mother and i need my job.The places only care about money and not the people. If people only knew the truth about these places

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