A La Junta, Colorado jury has awarded the widow of 88-year-old Henry Frazier $3.2 million against a Rocky Ford nursing home for allegations concerning complications from a baseball-sized bedsore that led to his death.
The lawsuit was filed against Pioneer Healthcare Center, owned by Grace Health Care. It alleged that the facility hid Frazier’s condition from the family, and did not care for the wound properly.
According to the lawsuit, Frazier, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, entered the facility in May 2009, while also working there as a janitor. At the time, Frazier was able to walk unassisted. By September 2010, he had developed a pressure wound, and in early October, a nurse aid, afraid that he might die, reported to Frazier’s son that severely infected bedsores had developed across Frazier’s scrotum and buttocks. By then, he had stopped eating, drinking, and walking. Pioneer administrators protested his removal from the nursing home for treatment at a hospital.
The lawsuit says that when Frazier reached the hospital, physicians there diagnosed him as malnourished, dehydrated, and septic. The bedsore had become infected with the dangerous bacteria MRSA. Frazier died December 3, 2010, with MRSA listed as the primary cause.
Upon inspection, Colorado Health Department officials found wide scale infection in the facility, and issued citations for nearly 30 deficiencies.