Medina, Ohio Family Sues 2 Nursing Homes The Resident Dies From Multiple Falls

Mercedes Chudy died from brain injuries following head injuries suffered in falls at two nursing facilities in less than two weeks, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s office. 

Michael Hill Trial Law is pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of Mercedes Chudy’s family against two Ohio nursing facilities: Liberty Residence II and Sanctuary Wadsworth. The case alleges negligence, wrongful death, and violations of nursing home resident rights laws. The lawsuit is Estate of Mercedes Chudy v. Liberty Residence II, et al. and is pending in Medina County, Ohio. 

According to the lawsuit, Mercedes became a resident of Liberty Residence II on August 8, 2020. This was during the Covid 19 lockdown when family members were only allowed visitation by peering through windows. 

The lawsuit alleges that, “Liberty Residence knew Mercedes was a high fall risk … [and] on September 12, 2020 Mercedes fell, causing a subdural hematoma with 5 mm midline shift.” A subdural hematoma occurs when an injury to the head causes fragile blood vessels around the lining of the brain to rupture. Without treatment, the blood begins to pool and places pressure on the brain. Because the skull is a fixed box, it cannot expand. The increased blood has nowhere to go. So, it compresses the brain causing damage pushing it to the opposite of the skull, called midline shift. 

According to the lawsuit, “despite knowing that Mercedes had an increased risk for internal bleeding due to her anticoagulation medication and recording abnormal vital signs, Liberty Residence did not have her seen by a physician. Three days after the fall, on September 15, 2020 when Mercedes’s speech was noted to be slurred and she was having difficulty communicating her needs, Liberty Residence sent Mercedes to the Akron General Medical Center emergency department for evaluation.” 

After 7 days at the hospital, Mercedes was discharged from the hospital. She “was admitted to Sanctuary [Wadsworth] for rehabilitative care after her fall at Liberty Residence,” according to the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit continues, “[e]ven knowing she had been admitted to Sanctuary because of her history of falls, one day after her admission, on September 23, 2020, Sanctuary allowed Mercedes to fall again. Sanctuary reported the fall to Mercedes’s family, telling them she had fallen on her buttocks. According to the Director of Nursing’s notes, a physician was also notified, advised there was ‘no injury to Mercedes.’ Sanctuary recorded abnormal blood pressure readings from Mercedes for three days after the fall. On September 24, 2020, the day after the fall, an interdisciplinary team observed Mercedes as ‘restless and unable to answer staff as to what she was doing.’ 15-minute checks were ordered, as was one-to-one supervision from 5:00pm to 11:00pm. On September 25, 2020, Sanctuary staff noted that Mercedes’s granddaughter expressed concerns about a change in her mental status. The nurse determined Mercedes was just ‘confused per usual poor safety awareness.’ Even though Sanctuary knew Mercedes was recovering from a brain bleed and was on blood-thinning medications, Sanctuary did not send Mercedes to the hospital for evaluation for more than two days and continued administering the blood-thinning medications, and not until Mercedes’s family members insisted on it due to the marked change in her mental status. In the evening of September 25, 2020, Sanctuary sent Mercedes to the Akron General Medical Center emergency department for evaluation. EMS records indicate Mercedes was being transferred to the emergency department ‘for [a] possible litigation defense.’ ”

At Akron General Medical Center for a second time within two weeks, a CT scan demonstrated a large subdural hematoma, a portion of which was fresh blood from the fall. She died shortly after. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s office determined that her death was caused by blunt force injuries to her head suffered in the falls. 

The lawsuit claims that both Liberty Residence II and Sanctuary Wadsworth failed to take appropriate steps to prevent Mercedes from falling and then failed to take adequate steps to evaluate her after the falls and send her to the hospital. The lawsuit also claims that Sanctuary Wadsworth was chronically and systemically understaffed and points to publicly available records from Medicare demonstrating that the facility was below average in staffing for Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and aides. 

“Typically we see nursing homes intentionally understaffing their facilities by reducing the number of registered nurses because they are the most qualified and most expensive and replace them with greater numbers of licensed practical nurses and aides. It’s unusual to see nursing homes that are understaffed for all classes of caregivers,” says lead trial attorney Michael Hill. 

The lawsuit requests compensatory damages as well as punitive damages to deter similar conduct in the future. Trial is set for October 2024. 

Who is Titan Senquest Management?

One of the defendants in the lawsuit is Titan Senquest Management, Inc. According to publicly available records, Titan Senquest Management is a California for-profit corporation that operates long-term care facilities. At the time of Mercedes falls, Titan Senquest Management operated Liberty Residence II. 

According to its website, Titan Senquest Management has facilities in Oregon, California, Idaho, Missouri, Texas, Michigan, and Ohio.

Quail CrestSheridan, Oregon Quail CrestBrookings and Gold Beach, OregonHighland EstatesEugene, Oregon
Sutter EstatesYuba City, CaliforniaRed BluffRed Bluff, CaliforniaQuail CrestReading, California
SummerfieldYuba City, CaliforniaThe WillowsBlackfoot, IdahoCorby PlaceSt. Joseph, Missouri
Elliot PlaceRaytown, MissouriBrentmoorSt. Louis, MissouriRedstone ParkBrownwood, Texas
Governors RidgeDecatur, TexasSentinel PointGrand Rapids, Michigan Pine RidgeSterling Heights, Michigan 
Ashford CourtWestland, MichiganCardinal RetirementCuyahoga Falls, OhioCambridge PlaceCambridge, Ohio

Who is Sanctuary Wadsworth? 

The Sanctuary nursing homes are part of the AHF, Inc. chain. Sanctuary has since sold the Wadsworth location, but retains ownership of other nursing homes in Ohio. 

The Sanctuary at Tuttle Crossing4880 Tuttle Rd.Dublin, OH 43017Sanctuary of the Ohio Valley2932 S. Fifth St.Ironton, OH 45638
The Sanctuary at Wilmington Place264 Wilmington Ave.Dayton, OH 45420Samaritan Care Center and Villa806 E. Washington St.Medina, OH 44256

Michael Hill Trial Law is currently pursuing another lawsuit against Sanctuary Wilmington and its parent company AHF, Inc. That case is pending in Dayton, Ohio and is expected to go to trial in January 2025, Estate of Ronald Wysong v. Sanctuary Wilmington Place aka AHF Ohio, Inc., 2023 CV 00151, Montgomery County, Ohio. 

In that case, the resident was notably choking on video. An aide handed him a bucket and left the room, only to allow Ron to suffer and die on camera. 

***Note: The current Sanctuary Wadsworth is under new ownership and is not a party to this lawsuit. None of the statements in this article or the lawsuit concern the current nursing home Sanctuary Wadsworth, which is located at the same location as the party to the lawsuit.***

Questions About A Potential Lawsuit Involving AHF Ohio, Inc., Titan Senquest Management, or Another Facility? 

Michael Hill is a nationally recognized attorney who handles exclusively cases against long term care facilities. Michael and his firm, Michael Hill Trial Law, handle cases across the country. If you have any questions about cases involving The Laurels or any other nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or group homes, you can contact Michael Hill Trial Law at www.protectseniors.com, by sending an email to info@protectseniors.com, or by calling (800) 659-2712.