The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has joined a class-action California nursing home neglect suit which claims the Ventura Convalescent Hospital has broken the law by providing antipsychotic drugs to residents without first obtaining the consent of a family member. The suit also targets Dr. Gary Proffett, who allegedly relied on the nursing home's consent, instead of a family member's, to provide prescriptions for the dangerous medications.
The lead plaintiff on the suit is a 54 year old woman whose mother, a 79 year old Alzheimer's patient, was living in Ventura Convalescent Hospital to undergo rehabilitation after being injured by a fall in November 2010. When the older woman was discharged just three weeks later, her daughter was shocked to discover the vast quantity of prescription medications her mother had been taking in the facility, which included the antidepressants and antipsychotics Zoloft, Ativan and Haldol.
The Alzheimer's patient died on January 28, 2011; lawyers believe that her prescription medications played a role in her passing. The FDA currently issues a black-box warning on antipsychotic medications, because they increase the risk of death in elderly dementia patients like the plaintiff's mother. An increasing number of nursing homes are dispensing these drugs to residents unnecessarily to combat symptoms of agitation, simply because they do not have enough staff to help these patients with less aggressive approaches. The Ventura facility has been cited by the California Department of Health for dispensing unnecessary drugs to its residents.
Nursing home neglect and abuse presents a serious threat to public safety, in large part because the victims are often left unable to speak against their abusers. If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation on his or her behalf and a drug defect attorney can help.
Contact a personal injury attorney from Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation regarding your case.