Two recent lawsuits have emerged against the Monroe Community Hospital (MCH), a 566-bed facility, accusing the facility of negligence which ultimately led to deaths. The site was subjected to inspection 10 times between 2013 and 2017. These assessments resulted in 35 health safety violations, four of which were classified as being “actual harm” or “immediate jeopardy”. Over the same time frame, the state averages for violations was 23, meaning MCH was determined to be in violation roughly 30% more than most.
Carl Lonobile is the subject of one of the lawsuits after he died while at the facility in 2016. Grace Lonobile Roberts filed a suit citing negligence and a failure to maintain a standard of reasonable care. The suit claims that the facility exhibited carelessness and a lack of adherence to practice standards involving diagnosis, supervision, and treatment. Lonobile, who was suffering from Alzheimer ‘s disease, was unable to walk and required assistance from a lift unit to transfer him from a chair to a bed (or vice-versa). At approximately 4 am on March 6th, Lonobile was taken to the shower room and he fell on the floor. He died at 5:30 am that day, which according to the filed lawsuit, was the result of the falling incident and that he had not received any sort of medical care in the interim period.
Meanwhile, the facility has another active suit involving former resident Samuel Condello for violations of wrongful death and negligence. The suit seeks economic and punitive damages based on Condello being deprived of using his wheelchair for approximately one month prior to his death. It is alleged that Todd Spring, who was the Executive Director at MCH at that time, removed Condello’s wheelchair for disciplinary reasons. The result was that he was confined to his bed for the majority of the time and staff did not report the incident based on feeling intimidated by Spring, who was in a top management role.
The state defines medical malpractice, or medically-based negligence, as being a failure of a member of the medical profession in adhering to reasonably acceptable standards of practice in caring for a patient. The elements that exist in these malpractice cases must include:
- The plaintiff was under the care of a medical professional
- A failure occurred according to the accepted standards for that medical specialty relating to treatment, diagnosis, or advising
- This failure led to illness, injury or a worsening of the condition
Medical malpractice can involve a host of issues including (but not limited to):
- Birth injuries
- Errors in prescribing medication
- Misdiagnosis or failing to diagnose conditions or illnesses
- Failures involving monitoring patient status
- Surgically-based mistakes
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