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Wrongful death suit filed against Pa. assisted living facility

Senior living facilities are required to adhere to a standard of care when it comes to treating their residents. One Pennsylvania facility, however, has been accused of not doing so. One woman filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against the corporate owner of the facility after her father died in the center in August 2012. Her father allegedly weighed 134 pounds when he was first admitted to the facility, but weighed only 120 pounds four days later. He made several visits to the emergency room for various ailments and injuries, including a clogged feeding tube and a MRSA infection. The man was then moved to a new facility, but ended up passing away only eight days later.

The lawsuit claims that the Altoona facility was understaffed and not equipped to handle her father's health issues. The suit also claims that the center's owner purposefully admitted more patients than it could handle, and failed to hire additional staff.

The facility allegedly did this in order to increase revenue and reimbursements from the government. The complaint also alleges that the negligent care by the facility caused the man pain and suffering, and eventually led to his death. This behavior may have placed the residents of the living center in danger, according to the complaint.

The center's owner said that the woman signed an agreement stating that any disputes relating to care should be dealt with in private arbitration. They have asked the court for an injunction to prevent the woman from continuing her legal action. In either case, if the facility is found to be negligent, the woman may receive damages to help her move forward from her tragic loss.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Altoona senior living center moves to compel arbitration in wrongful death suit," Jim Boyle, Feb. 9, 2015

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