Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit Filed Against Morse Life West Palm Beach

Wrongful Death Lawsuit vs. Morse Life Nursing Home

MorseLife Health System is a non-profit senior living entity that owns and operates Morse Life nursing home. MorseLife Health System owns and controls a large graduated care campus in West Palm Beach, complete with independent living, assisted living, memory care, short term rehab, long term nursing home care and home health aide services.

The Morse Life nursing home, located at 4847 Fred Gladstone Drive West Palm Beach, FL, is generally well regarded in the Palm Beach County area. Unfortunately, mistakes are made even in good facilities. This is precisely what happened in our recently filed lawsuit against the MorseLife nursing home and its parent company for nursing home negligence.

MorseLife Nursing Home Negligence Cases
Entrance to MorseLife campus off Haverhill Road.

Tardie v. Morse Life: A Case of Nursing Home Negligence

Ruth Tardie was a long term resident at Morse Life nursing home. Her family visited frequently, but due to her elevated care needs, she required admission into a 24/7 skilled nursing facility. Ms. Tardie’s daughter, Patricia, performed extensive research and chose MorseLife due to its good reputation. Unfortunately, the care Patricia’s Mom received was substandard.

Falls and Fractures

Ruth was a fall risk. As you likely know, nursing homes have a legal duty to prevent falls. Despite her high risk classification, Ruth suffered a severe fall at Morse Life which resulted in a knee fracture. Even after undergoing surgery, Patricia still kept her Mom in the Morse Life facility, hoping the care would improve. It did not. Following her fall and fracture, Ruth required help in order to use the restroom. To achieve this, staff would lift Ruth in a Hoyer Lift and place her on the toilet.

Skin Breakdown

It is alleged that the faciliy failed to prevent skin breakdown in Ruth Tardie. This is commonly referred to as nursing home bedsores.

Hoyer Lift Injury

In August of 2016, Ruth was being transferred from chair to toilet by new nursing staff. She was not securely placed in position and she let the staff know this. They did not stop the transfer. As a result, Ms. Tardie’s leg got caught and she suffered a comminuted fracture of her femur (leg bone).

Wrongful Death

We are Boynton Beach wrongful death lawyers, so unfortunately, most of our cases involve the victim passing away. In this case, it was determined by the doctors at the hospital that Ruth couldk not undergo surgery. She was admitted into hospice and died within days. Her death certificate lists the femur fracture as one of the causes of her death.

Femur Fracture due to Dropping Patient Listed as Cause of Death on Death Certificate

Do You Have a Case Against Morse Life Nursing Home or ALF?

If you believe you may have a nursing home negligence case against MorseLife, contact the experienced legal team at Senior Justice Law Firm. Our lawyers handle nursing home injury cases involving:

Free Nursing Home Abuse Case Consultations: 561-717-0817

Complaint Text of Lawsuit vs. MorseLife Nursing Home

A copy of the PDF version of the Complaint can be found here: Complaint in Tardie v. Morse Life.

As you can see, we pleaded wrongful death and survival counts in the alternative, which is permitted in Florida.

The actual text of the Complaint against Morse Life can be found below:

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 15TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY

CASE NO.: 50-2017-CA-009263-XXXX-MB

PATRICIA CIRILLO as Personal Representatives of the Estate of RUTH TARDIE,

Plaintiff,

vs.

THE JOSEPH L. MORSE HEALTH CENTER, INC., and MORSELIFE HEALTH SYSTEM, INC.

Defendants.
_____________________________________/

COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES AGAINST MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME

COMES NOW the Plaintiff, PATRICIA CIRILLO as Personal Representatives of the Estate of RUTH TARDIE, by and through undersigned counsel, and sue the Defendants, THE JOSEPH L. MORSE HEALTH CENTER, INC. (“MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME”) and MORSELIFE HEALTH SYSTEM, INC. (“MORSE LIFE 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 MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME and MORSE LIFE CORPORATE while RUTH TARDIE was a resident at the Defendants’ nursing home, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME located at 4847 Fred Gladstone Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida in Palm Beach County, Florida (hereafter “the nursing home” or “the facility”).
4. At all times material RUTH TARDIE was a resident of Palm Beach County, Florida and Patricia Cirillo is a resident of Palm Beach County, Florida, and has been appointed the Personal Representative of the Estate of RUTH TARDIE. Exhibit 1.
5. At all times material, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, was a Florida corporation doing business in Palm Beach County, with a principal place of business in Palm Beach County and an agent in Palm Beach County.
6. At all times material, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, was a Florida corporation, authorized and doing business in Palm Beach County.
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 MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME
8. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, was the licensee of the nursing home facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, which was authorized to do business in the State of Florida and to operate a nursing home under the name of Morse Life, in Palm Beach County, Florida, and is subject to the provisions of Florida Statutes Chapter 400.
9. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME employed the nurses and caretakers at the facility, and is therefore responsible for their tortious conduct.
10. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, was operating MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME 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. MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME owed a duty to its residents to provide reasonable care.
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST MORSE LIFE CORPORATE
12. At all times material, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, was the management company/manager and/or owner of the subject nursing home.
13. At all times material hereto the Defendant, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, was in the business of owning, managing, and/or maintaining nursing and convalescent homes and related health care facilities, including the subject facility located in Palm Beach County, Florida.
14. At all times material hereto, the Defendant, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, was operating 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, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, was operating MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME 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. MORSE LIFE 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 RUTH TARDIE’s residency, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE owned, managed, operated and/or had the right to control the nursing home and its staff. Therefore, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE is responsible for any actions or omissions of the nursing home’s employees, agents or apparent agents.
18. MORSE LIFE CORPORATE owed a duty to its residents to provide reasonable care.
FACTS GIVING RISE TO THIS CAUSE OF ACTION
19. RUTH TARDIE was admitted to the subject Morse Life nursing home for assistance with activities of daily living. This included assistance with ambulation and transfers.
20. RUTH TARDIE was not properly supervised and assisted with her movements inside the facility. As a result, she fell and suffered a broken knee. RUTH TARDIE underwent surgery with the placement of surgical hardware. Following her fall/fracture/surgery, RUTH TARDIE could no longer walk on her own. Due to the fall injury, RUTH TARDIE was confined to a wheelchair. She required total assistance with transfers in and out of her wheelchair, as well as toileting.
21. On or around August 11, 2016, RUTH TARDIE was being transferred via mechanical lift in the bathroom. During the transfer, RUTH TARDIE warned the staff that they were moving too fast and that she was not secured in the lift. Morse Life nursing home staff failed to heed RUTH TARDIE’s warnings. As a result, RUTH TARDIE’s leg was forcefully struck, causing grave injury.
22. RUTH TARDIE’s complaints of pain were subsequently ignored. Under the duress of the incident, she called her daughter, Patricia Cirillo, to tell her about what occurred. Patricia Cirillo demanded that her mother receive an x-ray.
23. Eventually, as a result of Patricia’s demand, radiology was taken confirming that RUTH TARDIE fractured her femur in the lift transfer incident. She was taken to Jupiter Medical Center, where she remained until her death.
24. RUTH TARDIE died on August 18, 2016.
25. The nursing home chart was requested pursuant to Florida Statute. Morse Life ignored this valid request. As a result, a Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation was sent to the Defendant nursing home, again requesting the nursing home chart be produced. This Notice of Intent and all pre-suit discovery requests were also ignored by the Defendant nursing home.
WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES
26. RUTH TARDIE wrongfully died on August 18, 2016 as a direct and proximate result of the Defendants’ negligence, more fully described above and below. The death certificate says, Exhibit 2, in pertinent part:

MANNER OF DEATH: ACCIDENT

CAUSE OF DEATH: a. RIGHT FEMUR FRACTURE
b. METASTATIC CANCER TO BONE

DATE OF INJURY: August 11, 2016

DESCRIBE HOW INJURY OCCURRED:
DECEDENT FRACTURED LEG DURING LIFTING PROCESS

27. As a direct and proximate result of the rights violations outlined above and below, the Estate of RUTH TARDIE and the survivors of the Estate, including but not limited to Patricia Cirillo, 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 RUTH TARDIE’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 RUTH TARDIE, medical and nursing care and treatment and aggravation of previous existing conditions, from the time of her injury until the time of her death;
b. Medical bills and expenses;
c. Funeral expenses;
d. Loss of Net Accumulations;
e. Patricia Cirillo and the other children of the deceased, 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 mother, RUTH TARDIE, and have incurred medical and funeral expenses as a result of RUTH TARDIE’s death, and have suffered the loss of RUTH TARDIE’s love and companionship.
SURVIVAL DAMAGES
28. This case is being pleaded as a wrongful death claim. However, alternatively, if these injuries did not cause RUTH TARDIE’s death, the Estate of RUTH TARDIE 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 RUTH TARDIE to the time of her death. These survival damages occurred as a direct and proximate result of the negligence of the Defendants’ outlined above and below.

COUNT I: TARDIE v. MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME – WRONGFUL DEATH

29. Plaintiff re-adopts and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 27 and further alleges:
30. Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, through its employees, agents and apparent agents were below the standard of care and thus violated the Chapter 400 rights of RUTH TARDIE as follows:
a. Failing to appropriately assess and screen RUTH TARDIE as a potential fall risk resident;
b. Failing to provide appropriate intervention to prevent falls and safe lifting techniques;
c. Dropping RUTH TARDIE;
d. Causing injury to RUTH TARDIE’s femur through trauma;
e. Failing to report trauma sustained by the resident;
f. Failing to prevent skin breakdown and malnutrition;
g. Failing to properly communicate with RUTH TARDIE and/or her family;
h. Failing to keep proper records relating to RUTH TARDIE and failing to produce those records upon valid request;
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.
31. The above negligence occurred from the actions and omissions of employees, agents and apparent agents of Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, while in the course and scope of their employment, agency and/or apparent agency.
32. As a proximate result of the Defendant’s deprivation of and infringement upon RUTH TARDIE’s Chapter 400 rights as alleged in this Complaint, which includes the above alleged negligence, RUTH TARDIE wrongfully died.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, The Estate of RUTH TARDIE, demands judgment for damages against Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, and further demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

COUNT II: TARDIE v. MORSE LIFE CORPORATE – WRONGFUL DEATH

33. Plaintiff re-adopts and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 27 and further alleges:
34. Defendant, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, through its employees, agents and apparent agents were below the standard of care and thus violated the Chapter 400 rights of RUTH TARDIE as follows:
a. Failing to appropriately assess and screen RUTH TARDIE as a potential fall risk resident;
b. Failing to provide appropriate intervention to prevent falls and safe lifting techniques;
c. Dropping RUTH TARDIE;
d. Causing injury to RUTH TARDIE’s femur through trauma;
e. Failing to report trauma sustained by the resident;
f. Failing to prevent skin breakdown and malnutrition;
g. Failing to properly communicate with RUTH TARDIE and/or her family;
h. Failing to keep proper records relating to RUTH TARDIE and failing to produce those records upon valid request;
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.
35. The above negligence occurred from the actions and omissions of employees, agents and apparent agents of Defendant, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, while in the course and scope of their employment, agency and/or apparent agency.
36. As a proximate result of the Defendant’s deprivation of and infringement upon RUTH TARDIE’s Chapter 400 rights as alleged in this Complaint, which includes the above alleged negligence, RUTH TARDIE wrongfully died.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, The Estate of RUTH TARDIE, demands judgment for damages against Defendant, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, and further demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

COUNT III: TARDIE v. MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME – SURVIVAL ACTION

37. Plaintiff re-adopts and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 25, 28 and further alleges:
38. Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, through its employees, agents and apparent agents were below the standard of care and thus violated the Chapter 400 rights of RUTH TARDIE as follows:
a. Failing to appropriately assess and screen RUTH TARDIE as a potential fall risk resident;
b. Failing to provide appropriate intervention to prevent falls and safe lifting techniques;
c. Dropping RUTH TARDIE;
d. Causing injury to RUTH TARDIE’s femur through trauma;
e. Failing to report trauma sustained by the resident;
f. Failing to prevent skin breakdown and malnutrition;
g. Failing to properly communicate with RUTH TARDIE and/or her family;
h. Failing to keep proper records relating to RUTH TARDIE and failing to produce those records upon valid request;
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.
39. The above negligence occurred from the actions and omissions of employees, agents and apparent agents of Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, while in the course and scope of their employment, agency and/or apparent agency.
40. This Count is being pleaded in the alternative to the above wrongful death Count. If these injuries did not cause the death of RUTH TARDIE, 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 RUTH TARDIE to the time of her death.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, The Estate of RUTH TARDIE, demands judgment for damages against Defendant, MORSE LIFE NURSING HOME, and further demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

COUNT IV: TARDIE v. MORSE LIFE CORPORATE – SURVIVAL ACTION

41. Plaintiff re-adopts and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 25, 28 and further alleges:
42. Defendant, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, through its employees, agents and apparent agents were below the standard of care and thus violated the Chapter 400 rights of RUTH TARDIE as follows:
a. Failing to appropriately assess and screen RUTH TARDIE as a potential fall risk resident;
b. Failing to provide appropriate intervention to prevent falls and safe lifting techniques;
c. Dropping RUTH TARDIE;
d. Causing injury to RUTH TARDIE’s femur through trauma;
e. Failing to report trauma sustained by the resident;
f. Failing to prevent skin breakdown and malnutrition;
g. Failing to properly communicate with RUTH TARDIE and/or her family;
h. Failing to keep proper records relating to RUTH TARDIE and failing to produce those records upon valid request;
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.
43. The above negligence occurred from the actions and omissions of employees, agents and apparent agents of Defendant, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, while in the course and scope of their employment, agency and/or apparent agency.
44. This Count is being pleaded in the alternative to the above wrongful death Count. If these injuries did not cause the death of RUTH TARDIE, 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 RUTH TARDIE to the time of her death.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, The Estate of RUTH TARDIE, demands judgment for damages against Defendant, MORSE LIFE CORPORATE, and further demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

 

DATED this 17th day of August, 2017.

/s/ Michael J. Brevda, Esq.
Michael J. Brevda, Esq.
Florida Bar No.: 084048
SENIOR JUSTICE LAW FIRM
33 S.E. 5th Street, Suite 105
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Phone: (561) 717-0817
Fax: (561) 708-6781
Email: [email protected]
Attorneys for Plaintiff