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Archive for Tuesday, August 8, 2000

Patient’s death spurs lawsuit against facility

August 8, 2000

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A Lawrence nursing home has been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of a former resident.

The daughters of Albert Salisbury filed suit Wednesday against Colonial Manor of Lawrence, saying the nursing home could have prevented the falls that eventually led to his death.

Colonial Manor "neglected to perform the duties to provide reasonable and adequate health care to and for ... Albert Salisbury, who was unable to attend to his own health and safety," wrote plaintiff's attorney Ruben J. Krisztal.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of problems for Colonial Manor, including a state-imposed ban on admissions earlier this year.

Jeff Simek, Colonial Manor's administrator, referred queries to Roger Slead, a Missouri lawyer who represents Beverly Enterprises Inc., the nursing home's parent company. Slead was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Salisbury, a longtime Kansas University employee, was 98 when he died in October 1998 at Colonial Manor. Krisztal said Salisbury died of complications from hip surgery after a fall two months earlier.



The Kansas Department of Health and Environment temporarily banned admissions to Colonial Manor this year after inspectors found widespread evidence of poor care.The ban was lifted in March, but the home narrowly avoided having its Medicare and Medicaid funding roughly $1.5 million a year revoked.

That fall shouldn't have happened, Krisztal wrote in the suit.

Salisbury's walking problems prompted the family to place him at Colonial Manor in February 1997.

"Mr. Salisbury was known for walking the hallways, and had a potential for injury due to falls," Krisztal wrote.

But Salisbury kept walking in his new home, and he kept falling one fall in August 1997 was bad enough for him to be taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Krisztal wrote that, according to medical records, Colonial Manor officials repeatedly designated Salisbury a high risk for falls. Still, he continued his ill-fated walks.

On Aug. 3, 1998, a nurse heard a crash in the lobby area of Colonial Manor, and found Salisbury leaning against a bookcase, complaining he had hit his head, his right hip swollen.

He was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, found to have a hip fracture and underwent surgery. Salisbury died two months later at the nursing home.

Krisztal said Colonial Manor committed a host of failures on its way to Salisbury's death, including an insufficient plan of care, too few staff members, negligent management, poor accident prevention.

Similar complaints were made in February, when the Kansas Department of Health and Environment temporarily banned admissions to Colonial Manor after inspectors found widespread evidence of poor care.

The ban was lifted in March, but the home narrowly avoided having its Medicare and Medicaid funding roughly $1.5 million a year revoked.

KDHE fined the nursing home $400 in March 1998 and $2,500 in May 1998.

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