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Colorado jury awards $3.2 million in nursing home death

May 4, 2012
by Sandra Hoban
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A jury in La Junta, Colo. has awarded $3.2 million to the widow of an 88-year-old  man who died in 2010, as a result of poor care at Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford, Co, as reported in the Denver Post. The facility, owned by Grace Healthcare (Chattanooga, Tenn.) was accused of hiding the severe health conditions of its former janitor and resident, Henry Frazier.

Admitted to the facility with advanced  Parkinson’s disease, Frazier required frequent repositioning. According to the lawsuit the facility did not inform the family of the gravity of the wound on his buttocks.

A nurse aide informed the man’s son, Mark Frazier, of his severe and infected bedsores. The family transferred Frazier to a nearby hospital where he was treated for systemic infection in addition to dehydration and malnourishment. According to a news report  in the La Junta Tribune-Democrat, the pressure sore was infected with MRSA and considered a Stage IV pressure ulcer.

The Colorado Health Department has cited Pioneer Health Care for 27 deficiencies, including prevalent infections.

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