Aspiration Pneumonia Lawsuit Filed against Ayers Health & Rehab Nursing Home

Aspiration Pneumonia Death Lawsuit Filed in Gilchrist County, FL

Our Gainesville nursing home abuse attorneys recently filed an aspiration pneumonia wrongful death lawsuit in Gilchrist County, Florida. Ayers Health and Rehabilitation Center is located in Trenton, Florida, which is about 30 miles west of Gainesville.

Tragically, this nursing home negligence case involves allegations of the preventable aspiration pneumonia death of Mr. Herman “Edward” Gamble.

A Model American with Deep Roots in North Central Florida

Edward Gamble was a Korean War Veteran, cattle rancher and a retired Department of Corrections official. Mr. Gamble and his family have lived in the Gilchrist and Dixie County area for generations. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, of 31 years, his five children and 11 grandchildren. He will truly be missed.

Publicly Filed Complaint for Damages Against Ayers Health & Rehab

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 8TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA

CASE NO.:

PATRICIA GAMBLE as Personal Representatives of the Estate of HERMAN EDWARD GAMBLE,

Plaintiff,

vs.

AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, LLC, and HEALTH SERVICES MANAGMENT, INC.

Defendants.
_____________________________________/

COMPLAINT

COMES NOW the Plaintiff, PATRICIA GAMBLE as Personal Representative of the Estate of HERMAN EDWARD GAMBLE (“EDWARD GAMBLE”), by and through undersigned counsel, and sues the Defendants, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, LLC (“AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER”) and HEALTH SERVICES MANAGMENT, INC (“HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE”), and alleges:

GENERAL JURISDICTIONAL ALLEGATIONS

1. This is a cause of action for damages, which exceeds Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), exclusive of costs, interest, and attorney’s fees, is being filed within the applicable statute of limitations.
2. All conditions precedent to the filing of this action, including compliance with the notice provisions of Chapter 400, have been met or waived.
3. This action is being brought by the Plaintiff for violations of Chapter 400 against AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER and HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE while EDWARD GAMBLE was a resident at the Defendants’ nursing home, Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center located at 606 NE 7th St., Trenton, Gilchrist County, Florida (hereafter “the nursing home” or “the facility”).
4. At all times material EDWARD GAMBLE was a resident of Dixie County, Florida.
5. At all times material, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, was a Florida corporation doing business in Gilchrist County, with a principal place of business in Gilchrist County and an agent in Gilchrist County.
6. At all times material, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, was a foreign for-profit corporation, authorized and doing business in Gilchrist County, operating the subject nursing home facility.
7. At all times material hereto, the Defendants were subject to the provisions of Chapter 400 of Florida Statutes, Titles 10 and 59 of the Florida Administrative Code, and OBRA 1987, which set the standards for operating nursing homes such as this facility.

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER

8. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, was the licensee of the nursing home facility in Trenton, Florida, which was authorized to do business in the State of Florida and to operate a nursing home under the name of AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, LLC, in Gilchrist County, Florida, and is subject to the provisions of Florida Statutes Chapter 400.
9. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER employed the nurses and caretakers at the facility, and is therefore responsible for their tortious conduct.
10. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, was operating AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER and/or had a non-delegable duty to ensure reasonable operation of the facility and reasonable care to residents, as the licensee of the facility, licensed as a nursing home as that term is defined in Florida Statutes Chapter 400.
11. AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER owed a duty to its residents to provide reasonable care.

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE

12. At all times material, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE was the management company/manager and/or owner of the subject nursing home.
13. At all times material hereto the Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, was in the business of owning, managing, and/or maintaining nursing and convalescent homes and related health care facilities, including the facility located in Gilchrist County, Florida.
14. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, was actively operating and controlling the subject facility, which was licensed as a nursing home as that term is defined in Florida Statutes Chapter 400.
15. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, was operating the Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center facility and/or had a non-delegable duty to ensure reasonable operation of the facility and reasonable care to residents, as the management company for the facility, which was licensed as a nursing home as that term is defined in Florida Statutes Chapter 400.
16. HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE had the right to control the nursing home’s operations, including but not limited to the facility’s policies, procedures, budget, staffing and employee training.
17. During EDWARD GAMBLE’s residency, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE owned, managed, operated and/or had the right to control the nursing home and its staff. Additionally, or in the alternative, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE employed the facility staff. Therefore, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE is responsible for any actions or omissions of the nursing home’s employees, agents or apparent agents.
18. HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE owed a duty to its residents to provide reasonable care.

FACTS GIVING RISE TO THIS CAUSE OF ACTION

19. EDWARD GAMBLE was admitted to the subject AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER facility on or about August 29, 2017. He was admitted for assistance with activities of daily living, specifically including but not limited to his impaired swallowing function.
20. Upon admission and all times material, EDWARD GAMBLE was at risk for aspiration and required an NPO diet, meaning that he was not to receive any liquids or solids by mouth.
21. Despite this, Defendants’ staff placed liquids and/or solids in EDWARD GAMBLE’s mouth, and/or provided liquids and/or solids that could be consumed and/or used by mouth.
22. As a result of said negligence, EDWARD GAMBLE aspirated.
23. As a result, EDWARD GAMBLE went into respiratory distress and could not breathe. He was rushed to the hospital on September 2, 2017, where doctors diagnosed EDWARD GAMBLE with aspirational pneumonia. Doctors attempted to suction the liquid out of EDWARD GAMBLE’s lungs. EDWARD GAMBLE remained in the ICU in critical condition, struggling to breathe.
24. Additionally, EDWARD GAMBLE developed infections while a resident at the facility.
25. On or around September 6, 2017, EDWARD GAMBLE was transferred from the hospital to hospice.
26. EDWARD GAMBLE died shortly thereafter on September 14, 2017.

WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES

27. EDWARD GAMBLE wrongfully died on September 14, 2017 as a direct and proximate result of the Defendants’ negligence, more fully described above and below. The primary cause of death listed on his death certificate is: ASPIRATION PNEUMONIA.
28. As a direct and proximate result of the rights violations outlined above and below, the Estate of EDWARD GAMBLE and the survivors of the Estate, including but not limited to Patricia Gamble (wife) and his surviving children, Jeff Gamble (son), Edward Sheppard Gamble (son), Greg Sheppard (son), Melissa Page (daughter), and Lori Summers (daughter), are entitled to all damages recoverable for the wrongful death caused by the Defendants, as alleged above and below, including but not limited to:
a. Damages for EDWARD GAMBLE’s bodily injury, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life, expensive hospitalization, the value of reasonable nursing services and nursing care provided to EDWARD GAMBLE, medical and nursing care and treatment and aggravation of previous existing conditions, from the time of his injury until the time of his death;
b. Medical bills and expenses;
c. Funeral expenses;
d. Loss of Net Accumulations;
e. Patricia Gamble and Mr. Gamble’s surviving children have suffered mental pain and suffering which will continue for the rest of their life, and they have suffered the loss of services and support of their loved one, EDWARD GAMBLE, and have incurred medical and funeral expenses as a result of EDWARD GAMBLE’s death, and have suffered the loss of EDWARD GAMBLE’s love and companionship.

SURVIVAL DAMAGES

29. Alternatively, if these injuries did not cause EDWARD GAMBLE’s death, the Estate of EDWARD GAMBLE claims all damages recoverable under a survival action, including but not limited to the non-economic and economic damages of the decedent for bodily injury and resulting pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment, and aggravation of a previously existing condition, from time of injury of EDWARD GAMBLE to the time of his death. These survival damages occurred as a direct and proximate result of the negligence of the Defendants’ outlined above and below.

COUNT I:
GAMBLE v. AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, LLC – WRONGFUL DEATH

30. Plaintiff re-adopts and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 28 and further alleges:
31. Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, through its employees, agents and apparent agents were below the standard of care and thus violated the Chapter 400 rights of EDWARD GAMBLE as follows:
a. Failing to provide appropriate instruction and oversight of staff to prevent liquids and/or solid foods from being given to EDWARD GAMBLE for oral consumption/use;
b. Failing to use the proper oral care methods to prevent liquids and/or solid foods from being given to EDWARD GAMBLE for oral consumption/use;
c. Causing injury to EDWARD GAMBLE by putting liquids and/or solids in his mouth;
d. Failing to prevent skin breakdown and bedsores;
e. Failing to keep proper records relating to EDWARD GAMBLE;
f. Failing to timely react to signs and symptoms of aspirational pneumonia;
g. Failing to properly evaluate risk of aspiration and pneumonia;
h. Failing to provide hydration and nutrition;
i. Failing to report the resident’s injury to his healthcare providers and failure to inform the resident’s family of EDWARD GAMBLE’s deteriorated condition.
i. Failing to comply with the requirements of Title 59 of the Florida Administrative Code and 42 CFR Section 483, which govern nursing homes such as this facility;
j. Failing to provide the level of care, skill, and treatment which in light of relevant surroundings circumstances is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers; and,
k. Failing to exercise reasonable care under all circumstances.
32. The above negligence occurred from the actions and omissions of employees, agents and apparent agents of Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, while in the course and scope of their employment, agency and/or apparent agency.
33. As a proximate result of the Defendant’s deprivation of and infringement upon EDWARD GAMBLE’s Chapter 400 rights as alleged in this Complaint, which includes the above alleged negligence, EDWARD GAMBLE wrongfully died.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment for damages against Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, and further demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

COUNT II:
GAMBLE v. HEALTH SERVICES MANAGEMENT, INC. – WRONGFUL DEATH

34. Plaintiff re-adopts and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 28 and further alleges:
35. Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, through its employees, agents and apparent agents were below the standard of care and thus violated the Chapter 400 rights of EDWARD GAMBLE as follows:
a. Failing to provide appropriate instruction and oversight of staff to prevent liquids and/or solid foods from being given to EDWARD GAMBLE for oral consumption/use;
b. Failing to use the proper oral care methods to prevent liquids and/or solid foods from being given to EDWARD GAMBLE for oral consumption/use;
c. Causing injury to EDWARD GAMBLE by putting liquids and/or solids in his mouth;
d. Failing to prevent skin breakdown and bedsores;
e. Failing to keep proper records relating to EDWARD GAMBLE;
f. Failing to timely react to signs and symptoms of aspirational pneumonia;
g. Failing to properly evaluate risk of aspiration and pneumonia;
h. Failing to provide hydration and nutrition;
i. Failing to properly staff and budget for this facility.
i. Failing to comply with the requirements of Title 59 of the Florida Administrative Code and 42 CFR Section 483, which govern nursing homes such as this facility;
j. Failing to provide the level of care, skill, and treatment which in light of relevant surroundings circumstances is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers; and,
k. Failing to exercise reasonable care under all circumstances.
36. The above negligence occurred from the actions and omissions of employees, agents and apparent agents of Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, while in the course and scope of their employment, agency and/or apparent agency.
37. As a proximate result of the Defendant’s deprivation of and infringement upon EDWARD GAMBLE’s Chapter 400 rights as alleged in this Complaint, which includes the above alleged negligence, EDWARD GAMBLE wrongfully died.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment for damages against Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, and further demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

COUNT III:
GAMBLE v. AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, LLC – SURVIVAL ACTION

38. Plaintiff re-adopts and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 26, 29 and further alleges:
39. Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, through its employees, agents and apparent agents were below the standard of care and thus violated the Chapter 400 rights of EDWARD GAMBLE as follows:
a. Failing to provide appropriate instruction and oversight of staff to prevent liquids and/or solid foods from being given to EDWARD GAMBLE for oral consumption/use;
b. Failing to use the proper oral care methods to prevent liquids and/or solid foods from being given to EDWARD GAMBLE for oral consumption/use;
c. Causing injury to EDWARD GAMBLE by putting liquids and/or solids in his mouth;
d. Failing to prevent skin breakdown and bedsores;
e. Failing to keep proper records relating to EDWARD GAMBLE;
f. Failing to timely react to signs and symptoms of aspirational pneumonia;
g. Failing to properly evaluate risk of aspiration and pneumonia;
h. Failing to provide hydration and nutrition;
i. Failing to report the resident’s injury to his healthcare providers and failure to inform the resident’s family of EDWARD GAMBLE’s deteriorated condition.
i. Failing to comply with the requirements of Title 59 of the Florida Administrative Code and 42 CFR Section 483, which govern nursing homes such as this facility;
j. Failing to provide the level of care, skill, and treatment which in light of relevant surroundings circumstances is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers; and,
k. Failing to exercise reasonable care under all circumstances.
40. The above negligence occurred from the actions and omissions of employees, agents and apparent agents of Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, while in the course and scope of their employment, agency and/or apparent agency.
41. This Count is being pleaded in the alternative to the above wrongful death Count. If these injuries did not cause the death of EDWARD GAMBLE, the Plaintiff alleges all damages recoverable under a survival action, including but not limited to the non-economic damages of decedent for bodily injury and resulting pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment, and aggravation of a previously existing condition, from time of injury of EDWARD GAMBLE to the time of his death.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment for damages against Defendant, AYERS HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, and further demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

COUNT IV:
GAMBLE v. HEALTH SERVICES MANAGEMENT, INC. – SURVIVAL ACTION

42. Plaintiff re-adopts and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 26, 29 and further alleges:
43. Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, through its employees, agents and apparent agents were below the standard of care and thus violated the Chapter 400 rights of EDWARD GAMBLE as follows:
a. Failing to provide appropriate instruction and oversight of staff to prevent liquids and/or solid foods from being given to EDWARD GAMBLE for oral consumption/use;
b. Failing to use the proper oral care methods to prevent liquids and/or solid foods from being given to EDWARD GAMBLE for oral consumption/use;
c. Causing injury to EDWARD GAMBLE by providing liquids and/or solid foods to be consumed/used orally;
d. Causing injury to EDWARD GAMBLE by putting liquids and/or solids in his mouth;
e. Failing to prevent skin breakdown and bedsores;
f. Failing to keep proper records relating to EDWARD GAMBLE;
g. Failing to timely react to signs and symptoms of aspirational pneumonia;
h. Failing to properly evaluate risk of aspiration and pneumonia;
i. Failing to provide hydration and nutrition;
j. Failing to properly staff and budget for this facility.
k. Failing to comply with the requirements of Title 59 of the Florida Administrative Code and 42 CFR Section 483, which govern nursing homes such as this facility;
l. Failing to provide the level of care, skill, and treatment which in light of relevant surroundings circumstances is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers; and,
m. Failing to exercise reasonable care under all circumstances.
44. The above negligence occurred from the actions and omissions of employees, agents and apparent agents of Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, while in the course and scope of their employment, agency and/or apparent agency.
45. This Count is being pleaded in the alternative to the above wrongful death Count. If these injuries did not cause the death of EDWARD GAMBLE, the Plaintiff alleges all damages recoverable under a survival action, including but not limited to the non-economic damages of decedent for bodily injury and resulting pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment, and aggravation of a previously existing condition, from time of injury of EDWARD GAMBLE to the time of his death.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment for damages against Defendant, HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATE, and further demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.
DATED this 10th day of May, 2018.
/s/ Michael J. Brevda
Michael J. Brevda
Florida Bar No.: 084048
SENIOR JUSTICE LAW FIRM
1903 S. Congress Ave, Suite 380
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426
Phone: (561) 717-0813
Fax: (561) 708-6781
Email: eservice@SeniorJustice.com
Attorneys for Plaintiff

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