Colorado Nursing Home Lawsuit Filed Over Resident Death

The family of an elderly Colorado woman who died after suffering multiple health complications at a state-run nursing home has filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that negligent care resulted in the fatal injuries.

Josephine Sciacca died on October 24, 2007 after a year and a half in the Trinidad State Nursing Home in Trinidad, Colorado. The family’s nursing home lawsuit alleges that Sciacca died due to dehydration, malnutrition and complications due to a pressure ulcer, all problems stemming from mistreatment at the facility.

The plaintiffs accuse the state-run facility of being run like a factory whose only goal is to hold onto as much as possible of the $5,500 per resident allotment it gets from the state, according to a story in the Denver Daily News.

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The nursing home’s administrator, the director of nursing, the nursing supervisor, two social workers and the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) were all named as defendants in the nursing home wrongful death lawsuit. They are accused of failing to heal and prevent the reopening of a pressure ulcer, also known as bedsores, not properly feeding or hydrating Sciacca, and tampering with, or failing to prevent tampering with, Sciacca’s medical records.

Sciacca’s mistreatment and death were the result of “knowing and/or intentional actions” by the Colorado nursing home officials and staff, according to the family.

Although there is a cap of $150,000 for Colorado wrongful death lawsuits against the state, the family indicates that they hope to force changes in how the state administrates medical facilities, to make them more caring facilities and less like assembly lines and storage houses for the elderly.


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