Care home sued over former resident's death

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 8, 2009

MARTINSBURG -– A man has filed suit against Blue Ridge Care and Rehabilitation Center on behalf of a late Berkeley County man, alleging the man died after the center's employees neglected to hydrate him and to properly care for him.

MARTINSBURG -– A man has filed suit against Blue Ridge Care and Rehabilitation Center on behalf of a late Berkeley County man, alleging the man died after the center's employees neglected to hydrate him and to properly care for him.

Richard Simpson claims Heyward Simpson was admitted to Blue Ridge Care and Rehabilitation Center on Feb. 1, 2008, because he needed assistance with daily living activities, according to the complaint filed Dec. 1 in Berkeley Circuit Court.

On Feb. 15, Heyward was "found to be ice cold in all extremities, with knees and hands mottling, skin turjor poor, diaphoretic, with labored respirations, lethargy and hypotension," the suit states.

After he was found, Heyward was transported to Jefferson Memorial Hospital emergency room where he was diagnosed with acute renal failure secondary to dehydration, Richard claims.

He was then transferred to City Hospital Intensive Care, according to the complaint.

By the time of his hospital visit, Heyward had dropped to 115 pounds, down from 136 pounds he weighed on Feb. 7, the suit states.

Ultimately, because of his treatment at the center, Heyward died, Richard claims.

Employees of Blue Ridge Care and Rehabilitation Center failed to fulfill their duties to provide adequate nutrition and hydration to Simpson and to prevent unnecessary hospitalization and deterioration of his health conditions, according to the complaint.

They also failed to properly monitor and administer medications and prescription and to properly monitor Heyward's mental status agitation and his ability to ambulate, the suit states.

"The care and treatment of Heyward Simpson by the Blue Ridge Care and Rehabilitation Center was woefully inadequate, resulting in the acceleration of disease process, unnecessary hospitalizations, exacerbated and accelerated dementia, and ultimately, death," the suit states.

Richard is seeking an unspecified judgment in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional minimum of Berkeley Circuit Court.

He is represented by Dale A. Buck of the Law Office of Dale Buck in Martinsburg.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number: 08-C-1380

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