Painter Law Firm files suit for family against First Colony Health and Rehabilitation Center
Our expert says that the nursing staff did not inform the doctor of patient's deterioration and doctor never saw the patient at all
Painter Law Firm filed a lawsuit in Houston, Texas against First Colony Health and Rehabilitation Center and a physician, on behalf of the family of Bernice Twardowski.
In October 2010, Mrs. Twardowski was a 73 year old lady who was involved in a car wreck. After initial treatment at Memorial Hermann Hospital, she went to First Colony Health and Rehabilitation Center for skilled nursing care and rehabilitation.
Shortly after she arrived at the facility, Mrs. Twardowski started acting unusually confused, showing a change in mental status, and was very drowsy and sometimes slumped over. The nurses never notified a doctor of these serious signs. In fact, according to our expert physician who carefully reviewed the medical records, no doctor ever examined Mrs. Twardowski at First Colony Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Just three days into her stay at First Colony Health and Rehabilitation Center, Mrs. Twardowski fell down. Without notifying her family, they transferred her to St. Luke's Sugar Land Hospital. The first time the family learned of this was when they received a call from St. Luke's that Mrs. Twardowski had passed away.
This case shows how a change in mental status is one of the earliest indicators that something is wrong that needs evaluated by a doctor. In Mrs. Twardowski's case, our expert physician discovered that Mrs. Twardowski was being given toxic doses of multiple medications.
If the nurses had notified a doctor, the doctor would have likely studied Mrs. Twardowski's medications realized that there was a problem. This would likely have prevented her death from medicaiton toxicity.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.
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Published in the July/August 2018 edition of "The Houston Lawyer" magazine