Trial Begins Against Nursing Home Over Death of Florida Woman Who Developed Severe Bedsore

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Aug 9, 2023 1:14:22 PM

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Gainesville, FL— Jurors Tuesday previewed evidence of the circumstances surrounding the death of a Florida nursing home resident who had developed a severe bed sore, as trial opened against the facility that had cared for her. Redding v. Parklands Facility, Inc., 2022-CA-000311.

Claretha Davis was 72 when she died in April 2021, about four months after she developed a severe, deep pressure ulcer while staying at Parklands Care Center, a nursing home in Gainesville, Florida. Davis’ family contends she died from complications relating to the ulcer, commonly called a bed sore, which they claim was caused by inadequate care at the home. 

During Tuesday’s openings, the Davis family’s attorney, Gordon & Partners’ Scott Fischer, walked jurors through the timeline of Davis’ care at the facility. He noted a doctor examined Davis on December 16, 2020 and found no pressure ulcer, but discovered the wound — at stage 4, the most severe such ulcer — on his next scheduled exam, December 30. Fischer added that Davis' bed, an inflated mattress meant to prevent pressure sores, was also found to be deflated at that time. 

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Fischer told jurors evidence would show the facility was inadequately staffed and because of that, nurses had failed to properly care for Davis, allowing the pressure sore to develop. He added that medical records indicating nurses had treated Davis during the two-week time period at issue were undercut by the fact that nurses continued to indicate they were checking Davis even after she had been moved to a hospital to treat the sore. 

“It shows they’re just filling out records rather than giving care to their patients,” Fischer said, noting Davis’ own family had not been allowed to visit her due to covid risk-mitigation restrictions. “It’s a case where a family had to put their full faith and trust in this nursing home and that trust was terribly betrayed.”

But the defense contends that the facility’s staff appropriately cared for Davis and that the pressure wound was unavoidable. On Tuesday, the Humphrey Law Group’s Mark Humphrey detailed Davis’ medical history in the years before her death. He noted Davis had suffered from dementia and kidney disease, among other issues, and he said Davis had been treated earlier in 2020 for a pressure ulcer that had developed unavoidably, adding that such wounds can occur despite appropriate treatment. 

Humphrey also told jurors evidence would show Davis was treated for the pressure ulcer at issue before she was moved to Hospice care for her other health issues, which he said actually caused her death. 

“Mrs. Davis passed away because of her other comorbidities: her end-stage renal disease and her Alzheimer’s,” Humphrey said. “Mrs. Davis died with a wound, but she did not die because of a wound. They’re completely different things.”

The case is expected to go to the jury by Friday. 

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Topics: Florida, Redding v. Parklands Facility, Inc.