Retired Hollywood agent Frank Baldwin Sr. was one of the 5.4 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. His disease made him depend on others for food, water, medication, and hygiene, but his family said he was otherwise healthy. In need of specialized care, Frank’s family sought the help of an Arizona assisted living facility called Canyon Valley Memory Care Residence in Green Valley, Arizona. A mere 16 days later, 84-year-old Frank was found unconscious, malnourished, and dehydrated. His wife, Joy, filed a lawsuit saying he’d lost 14 pounds and had not been fed or given water for a week. Frank never recovered.
The assisted living facility and its for-profit parent company, Frontier Management, did not initially respond to the legal action with denial of responsibility. Instead, it said that Joy had no right to sue them, citing a piece of paper Joy didn’t remember signing – an arbitration agreement. In short, an arbitration agreement is typically decided in private by an independent arbitrator rather than in a public court by a jury. This keeps complaints of abuse and neglect out of the public court system and out of the public eye. It’s also a more economical option for a facility since there’s a lower chance of payment over $1 million.
A report released in October by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the average number of consumer complaints per nursing home increased by 21 percent between 2005 and 2014. The report also shows that the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reduced the number of facilities subject to increased inspections due to an increase in oversight responsibilities and budget constraints. GAO concluded that CMS needs to implement a clear plan for ongoing auditing of self-reported data from nursing homes and establish a process for monitoring oversight modifications to better assess their effects.
Frank Baldwin is one of millions of elderly Americans who are abused and neglected each year, according to the National Council on Aging. And his wife, Joy, is among countless family members who have felt betrayed and sickened by the system that should have helped their loved one. There are many different types of abuse that a loved one can endure in an Arizona assisted living facility or nursing home. Some nursing home residents suffer from dehydration and malnutrition in Phoenix, while others fall victim to sexual abuse. Further nursing home neglect can lead to patients wandering off and hurting themselves. All of these situations shouldn’t be tolerated and a Phoenix nursing home neglect attorney will fight for you or your loved ones rights.
At the first sign of abuse or neglect, contact Arizona injury attorneys at Knapp & Roberts at 480-991-7677 for a free consultation. We have a superior track record of holding assisted living and nursing home facilities accountable when they fail in their duty to deliver proper care, and have won settlements and verdicts in the millions of dollars for our clients.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.