KTVN reported on the investigation done by 13 Action News Chief Investigator Darcy Spears into the neglect and wrongful death of Margaret Newbury. The family feels that College Park Rehabilitation Center nursing home betrayed the trust they placed on the facility to take care of their mother. Newbury and his siblings lost their faith because of what they say happened at College Park. The family filed a civil lawsuit claiming wrongful death and elder abuse after Margaret passed away from septic shock due to a urinary tract infection.
“I just put my faith in the system which I will never do again,” Margaret’s son Joseph Newbury said.
“I was just really outraged that a medical facility would not do their job,” Margaret’s daughter Margaret Markey said.
The family’s civil suit claims by the time Margaret got to the hospital, she was in septic shock and suffering from “multiple infections, dehydration and organ failure.” The complaint alleges “conscious disregard for safety, life, and health… lack of hygiene and nutrition, excess bedsores, withholding medication, falsifying medical records, failure to transfer the patient to the hospital on numerous occasions when her health and ultimately her life depended on it and failure to notify doctors and family of conditions.”
“Their mother went to this facility to be rehabilitated, to be made better,” family attorney Neal Hyman said.
Elder protective services were called in and substantiated the allegation of neglect. Court records show certified nursing assistants wrote in her medical chart that she received “specific care” during time periods she wasn’t even there. They claim to have repositioned her in bed at a time when she was off site at a doctor appointment and to have given her a partial bed bath, assessed her skin as clear and that she was repositioned by two staff members, almost six hours after she was transferred to the emergency room.
College Park also has years of deficiencies documented in state inspections. Including unrelated violations for many things including lack of hygiene, insufficient nursing staff and residents not being turned resulting in bedsores.
The federal government’s website for Medicare gives College Park two out five stars, rating it either below or much below average for staffing and quality measures.