Daughter sues Lebanon nursing home over mother's death

Kelly Holleran Feb. 9, 2011, 2:10am

A woman has filed suit against the care facilities she claims contributed to her mother's death.

Beverly Dressel claims defendant Covenant Care Midwest doing business as Cedar Ridge Health Care and Rehab Center in Lebanon began taking care of her elderly mother, Betty Dressel, who was afflicted with Alzheimer's, on Oct. 1, 2008. Betty Dressel remained at Covenant Care Midwest until Dec. 5, 2008, when she elected to hire Almost Family and National Health Industries, both doing business as Mederi-Caretenders, to begin caring for her, according to the complaint filed Jan. 10 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

"Throughout Betty Dressel's subsequent care and treatment at Covenant Care Midwest, it was evident that her deteriorated mental condition, bed-bound status and restraint placed her at a high risk for physical deterioration and the development of pressure ulcerations, infection and sepsis," the suit states.

However, while Betty Dressel was under the care of Almost Family and Covenant Care, her care providers allegedly committed a number of negligent acts, including failure to recognize the symptoms of decubitous ulcers, failure to undertake proper testing to diagnose Betty Dressel's decubitous ulcers and failure to refer Betty Dressel to a wound care specialist, according to the complaint. In addition, their employees allegedly failed to provide Betty Dressel with proper care and treatment, failed to conduct a proper assessment of Betty Dressel's health condition and failed to timely recognize
changes in Betty Dressel's health condition, the suit states.

As a result of Covenant Care's and Almost Family's negligent acts, Betty Dressel developed pressure ulcerations, infection and sepsis after lesions formed on her back, buttocks, leg and feet, the complaint says. On April 14, 2009, Dressel died from her injuries, her daughter claims.

Before Betty Dressel's death, she became sick, sore, lame and disordered and experienced significant pain, suffering and mental anguish, according to the complaint. In addition, she incurred medical costs, which diminished funds from her estate, according to the complaint.

"Payments to the Defendant, and thus the latter was unjustly enriched for the care, treatment and/or services promised but not fulfilled, undertaken and/or properly administered," the suit states.
Because of her mother's injuries and subsequent death, Beverly Dressel incurred medical and burial expenses; experienced pain, suffering and mental anguish; and lost her mother's support, services, society, companionship, instruction and guidance, according to the complaint.

Norman Dressel, Betty Dressel's husband, lost his wife's companionship, consortium, society, support and services, the suit states.

In her complaint, Beverly Dressel alleges medical negligence/wrongful death, statutory negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and loss of consortium against all the defendants.

In her 51-count complaint, Beverly Dressel seeks a judgment of more than $2.55 million, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

She will be represented by D. Jeffrey Ezra and Sarah D. Smith of Ezra and Associates in Collinsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-18.

More News