JAMES HALPIN / PUBLISHED: AUGUST 4, 2017 | Citizens’ Voice
WILKES-BARRE — An 87-year-old woman who broke her legs after falling out of bed at an embattled nursing home has filed a federal lawsuit alleging negligence on the part of her caretaker.
Della Bednarczyk filed suit this week against the former Golden LivingCenter — East Mountain at 101 E. Mountain Blvd., Plains Twp., alleging she sustained a cut to her head, fractured femurs and bruising after the fall she sustained on Oct. 1.
According to a complaint filed in federal court by the Anzalone Law Offices, Bednarczyk was admitted into the care facility in February 2011 with dementia, diabetes and other ailments.
Bednarczyk has limited mobility and requires assistance performing daily functions including eating, drinking and getting dressed, the complaint says.
The lawsuit alleges that the evening of Oct. 1, an employee was turning Bednarczyk on her bed when the mattress slipped off and fell to the floor along with Bednarczyk.
The mattress was a special air mattress used because of Bednarczyk’s condition and was supposed to be secured by side rails on the bed, according to the complaint. The lawsuit alleges the mattress was improperly fastened to the bed.
As a result, Bednarczyk suffered a 4 centimeter cut on her head, fractures to her left and right femurs, bruising and sores that developed because of her subsequent immobility, the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the nursing home and seeks unspecified damages in excess of $75,000.
A message left with Golden Living seeking comment Thursday afternoon was not immediately returned.
Earlier this year, the facility became the Gardens at East Mountain after Golden Living sold the rights to operate 11 of its facilities to Priority Healthcare, of Long Island, New York.
In 2015, the state Attorney General’s Office sued Golden Gate National Senior Care LLC — the parent company of the facilities — over allegations of poor care and understaffing at 25 facilities across the state, including the East Mountain location.
Commonwealth Court threw out the lawsuit in March, finding that prosecutors failed to support their claim that “(Golden Gate) (is) a sham and exist(s) for no other purpose than as a vehicle for fraud.”
The Attorney General’s Office in April appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.