Dudensing Law reaches settlement against for-profit skilled nursing facility responsible for preventable choking incident that led to death

June 30, 2023

The owners of multiple skilled nursing facilities agreed to pay $975,000 on behalf of a
deceased man who choked to death while under care. Dudensing Law found that the patient had a clear
care plan in place to ensure safe eating. The facility was aware of the victim’s need for monitored food
intake prior to admittance, but these needs were ignored by staff.

The victim had a known history of inhaling food and choking if certain protocols were not met. He needed to be supervised while eating and his food needed to be cut into small pieces. Still, just four days after his admission, he was given a full tray of food that was unsafe for his consumption and left alone to consume it. His roommate, an amputee, desperately called out for help, yet nobody came. Dudensing found that staff was unresponsive for over ten minutes as the victim choked and his roommate screamed for help. Additionally, staff failed to timely and properly render first aid or dial 911, leaving the victim without oxygen for at least 15-20 minutes. The victim suffered massive brain injury that he was unable to recover from and tragically died. Dudensing Law proved that the victim’s wrongful death was directly linked to the skilled nursing facility’s status quo of understaffing for maximizing profit.

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