The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Online had an article about seven lawsuits filed against Mount Carmel Health and Rehabilitation Center, which has been cited for 35 care violations this year alone. Wisconsin’s largest nursing home is fighting evidence of substandard care in seven lawsuits, including six filed in the past six months.
In one case, staff repeatedly reported seeing a resident for more than 10 hours, even though he had fled the facility and was arrested for prowling. The seven pending lawsuits allege that Mount Carmel chronically is understaffed and that residents in the 473-bed home are not getting adequate care.
Kindred Healthcare, the Louisville, Ky., company that owns Mount Carmel, simply is trying to maximize profits, said Jeff Pitman, a Milwaukee lawyer whose firm is handling four of the seven lawsuits.
Among the allegations in the lawsuits:
• Lack of care led Vicenta Hernandez, 94, to suffer a fall and broken hip, which resulted in her death in November 2007.
• Mary Eva Richey, a one-month resident, developed multiple pressure sores that led to her death in January 2009.
• Edmond Strehlow, who lived at Mount Carmel for 3 1/2 months until April 2007, suffered multiple pressure sores that led to his death.
Richard Abel of Muskego said he visited his late wife, LaVerne, five days per week at Mount Carmel and that staff often ignored her pleas for help in getting to the bathroom and failed to keep a brace on her knee. Abel said he complained to staff and their supervisors on the floor, and then to administrators.
In January 2009, Kindred Healthcare, a successor of Vencor, resumed operation of Mount Carmel. After operating with a probationary license for one year, Kindred was given a full license in January of this year.
The citations issued this year include allegations that Mount Carmel:
• Failed to provide appropriate supervision and assistive devices to five out of 10 residents identified by the nursing home as being at risk for falls.
• Failed to assess and treat pain, depression and other problems experienced by a 51-year-old woman who speaks Spanish and who had part of her right leg amputated last December.
• Did not treat 16 of 32 residents reviewed "in a manner that maintained their dignity."