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Gulf Health Care Center objects to expert report, seeks dismissal from med-mal

By David Yates | Sep 26, 2013

Rickman rick

A nursing home is objecting to an expert report in a medical malpractice suit alleging it allowed a man to develop severely infected pressure ulcers and to become dehydrated, which eventually led to his death.

As previously reported, Glenda Washington, Gwendolyn King, Janice King, Karen Field, Laura Washington-Allen, Jael Joseph, Levi Washington III and Todderick Washington filed a lawsuit July 31 in Jefferson County District Court against Southwest LTC-Gulf Healthcare Ltd., doing business as Gulf Health Care Center–Port Arthur.

The plaintiffs claim Levi Washington Jr., 66, became severely dehydrated and developed pressure ulcers during his stay at Gulf Health Care, 6600 Ninth Ave., from March 28, 2012, through May 9, 2012.

In addition to severe ulcers, facility staff later diagnosed Levi Washington Jr. with sepsis, severe dehydration and malnutrition, the suit states.

On May 22, 2012, Levi Washington Jr. died of aspiration pneumonia, the plaintiffs claim.

Court records show that on Sept. 3 Gulf Health Care Center filed objections to plaintiffs’ expert report and motion to dismiss.

The motion argues that plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Christopher Davey, leaves an analytical causation gap in his report by failing to mention or address the decedent’s death or his cause of death.

In their suit, the plaintiffs say they and Levi Washington Jr. experienced mental anguish, physical pain, suffering, physical disfigurement and emotional distress and incurred medical costs because of the way he was treated at the nursing home. They also say they lost Levi Washington Jr.’s consortium, companionship and society; incurred funeral costs; and lost their inheritance.

The plaintiffs blame Gulf Healthcare Center for causing Levi Washington Jr.’s injuries, saying staff failed to prevent his ulcers, failed to appropriately treat the ulcers once they had developed and failed to follow the guidelines outlined under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, which requires sufficient staffing levels of people who are properly trained and supervised.

The plaintiffs seek actual, general, special, exemplary and punitive damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Robert M. Wharton and Dana E. Helms of McIver Brown Law Firm in Houston represent them.

Dallas attorney Jess C. "Rick" Rickman III of Hallett & Perrin represents Gulf Health Care Center.

The case is assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Case No. A194-583

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