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Robert L. Bennett
Robert L. Bennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 60
Experience:  attorney (13 years experience, member of California Bar)
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Hello My father in law had a hospice nurse coming to the ...

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Hello: My father in law had a hospice nurse coming to the home for a year. It was her suggestion that he be transported to Ramona Manor for respit care. We were assured it would be for PT and he could come home within a couple of days. 5 hours after leaving him in their care, he died. They were instructed to give him nitro when he got up out of bed, they did not give it to him. Instead they tied him down to the bed and left him there. He couldn''t get up to get his nitro and subsequently had a heart attack. He did have congestive heart failure, and was 75 years old. However, he didn''t need to die like that. They neglected him and he passed. Is there a case here? Please advise. Thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Robert L. Bennett replied 8 years ago.

You have a very difficult case to prove, although I extend my condolences on his passing.

Nitro (or so I understand) is merely for pain, and does not prevent heart attacks. Also, you would have to prove the death was proximately caused by poor treatment, and negligence.

It is very likely that the cause of his death was congestive heart failure, and that is what the law looks at.

I agree that he didn't need to die like that, and it was terrible to neglect him, but my advice is that there is no case here.

Let me know if you need more. I am always glad to help a "fellow Californian", even it is not the answer you were seeking.

Please let me know if you need more.

Bob Bennett
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Would this be true even if Hospice told my husband that he didnt have a choice, that his Dad HAD to go to respit. They reclassified him from respit to general inpatient care. They never advised us as to what they were going to do with him. They gave him medication they were told not to give and also were not supposed to tie him down (belt placed on him at 6pm, died at 10:10pm) without authorization from a family member. Hospice never gave the Ramona Manor my husbands phone number and they never contacted him until one and a half hours after his death. He should have been contacted prior to his passing to let him know there was a problem.
Expert:  Robert L. Bennett replied 8 years ago.
That changes things, as giving medication that they were not supposed to give, as well as violating orders not to tie him down are important.

A lawyer for the Hospice and/or Ramona Manor will take the position that death was caused by congestive heart disease, and not by the subsequent intervening acts. Now, your attorney can dispute that.

I suggest you find a lawyer specializing in wrongful death cases, and/or personal injuries.

Good luck.
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