EXCLUSIVE: Assisted living facility targeted with wrongful death suit
PUNALUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The family of an Oahu woman is suing a Windward Oahu assisted living facility, claiming the facility's neglect caused her death.
Meanwhile, another family moved their elderly mother out of the same facility last month, complaining of short staffing, unclean rooms and lack of care.
State inspectors found several violations at Oceanside Hawaii in recent years, but one of its owners said the complaints by these families are unfounded and residents receive a high level of care there.
Oceanside Hawaii Assisted Living in Punaluu said it offers compassionate care for the elderly. A lawsuit filed Thursday claimed otherwise.
The family of Susan Pedro said she was neglected at Oceanside so much that she developed painful pressure sores that led to sepsis, kidney failure and her eventual death early last year at just 65 years old.
Anthony Carr, the attorney for the Pedro family, said, "They left her in her wheelchair, around the clock, for an unknown period of time to soak, just soaked and soiled in her feces and urine, which caused not only pressure sores, but caused those pressure sores to get infected by the very bacteria that she was left sitting in."
Susan Pedro was taken to Wahiawa General Hospital last January and died a month after leaving Oceanside.
Matthew Pedro, Susan's son, said, "The doctor said it was preventable, that if they would have gotten her up, if they would have moved her around, if they would have helped her change her diaper on a regular basis, if they would have given her a bath, I mean, these things could have been prevented, and they weren't."
One of Oceanside Hawaii's owners, Denis Bryant, called the charges "unfounded."
"Our care is fine. Families can have high expectations that can't always be met and that's what happened in both of these cases," Bryant said.
The second case involves Helen Luckett, 94, whose family just moved her out of Oceanside last month, claiming her room was constantly dirty, staffing was inadequate and her bedding was repeatedly soaked with urine when she's still capable of going to the restroom with a little help.
"If you're looking for a care facility, please consider Oceanside your last resort, not your first. It is not a quality place for your loved one," said Janine Law, Helen Luckett's daughter.
A state inspection of Oceanside in August 2014 found a 90-degree temperature in one lobby and only one of nine rooms in one wing had a signaling device.
An inspector wrote: "… health, welfare and safety of the residents are/were at risk."
A January 2015 inspection there found urine smell in a common area, and a dirty bedroom floor as well as inadequate CPR, first aid certification and training for some employees.
Bryant, of Oceanside, said August 2014 was a "very difficult time. "Our first floor had been flooded and we had to move residents to upper floors," he said.
"You can find something wrong any place you go," Bryant added.
The 2014 inspection also found that what company officials told state officials did not match what the inspection found on site.
"The mere fact that there are inconsistencies in what we are told indicates that there is need for concern," wrote a supervisor for the licensing section of the state Health Department's Office of Health Care Assurance.
Bryant said those employees accused of lying are no longer with the company.
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