Cypress Glen East sued for resident's falls

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 17, 2007, 1:00pm

The estate of Phenly Baham filed a wrongful death complaint against Cypress Glen East alleging that despite being assessed at a moderate-to-high risk for falling he fell on numerous occasions which ultimately led to his death.

According to a lawsuit filed in Jefferson County District Court, Baham fell four times while a resident at Cypress.

He fell on Sept. 17, 2004, just seven days after his admission and then again on Feb. 17, 2005, which required a brain scan to rule out further injury.

His estate also claims he suffered injuries after an April 3, 2005, fall that left him unable to stand or ambulate.

Baham fell for the fourth time on April 5, 2005, this time fracturing his left hip, the estate alleges.

The estate claims Cypress was negligent in failing to properly assess Baham's fall risk and to take proper fall precautions even though they knew or should have known of the dangers of allowing Baham to ambulate without assistance.

Baham's estate also claims Cypress:

  • failed to review the historical data in the fall risk assessment sheet;
  • failed to correctly ascertain his correct fall risk;
  • failed to implement fall prevention measures;
  • failed to make sound nursing judgments; and
  • failed to provide a safe enviornment to patients.

    The estate claims the alleged negligence was done with "conscious and willful indifference for the safety and well-being of Baham" and the conduct "amounts to gross negligence" for which the estate will seek punitive damages.

    "There is no excuse for the failure of management, given the available information, to affirmatively act to discontinue the exploitation and gross mistreatment of the patients at this facility," the complaint states.

    According to the suit, Baham suffered physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and medical expenses until his death.

    The estate seeks a judgment "far in excess" of the minimum jurisdictional limits of the court.

    Clay Dugas and Mike Jacobellis of Beaumont will represent the estate.

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