August 21, 2017
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Heritage House of Greensburg2

An elderly Columbus, Indiana woman has filed a “proposed complaint” with the Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) alleging nursing home neglect and medical negligence against the owners and operators of Heritage House of Greensburg nursing home and other defendants for allowing her husband to choke to death on his medication. According to the complaint, the woman’s husband was an elderly and disabled person who became a patient of the nursing home to receive professional nursing and health care. The complaint alleges that the Defendants were aware that the patient often had difficulty swallowing, so he had a special diet and pills were supposed to be crushed or substituted when pharmaceutically acceptable. According to the complaint, Defendants allowed for the administration of a medication in whole pill form on or about March 1, 2015, despite the foreseeable risk of him choking. The complaint states that after given the pill, the patient appeared to be choking. According to the medical records, the patient became pale, his pulse weakened, he became unresponsive and then died. When the patient was administered the Heimlich maneuver, nursing observed a “pill come from his mouth.” The death certificate confirmed the patient’s cause of death was “asphyxiation – foreign body.

The nursing home facility, which is located at 410 Park Road in Greensburg, Indiana, is owned by Major Hospital (located in Shelbyville, Indiana) and is operated and managed by Heritage House Group, LLC according to the Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare website.

Under Indiana’s medical malpractice laws, a “proposed complaint” must be filed with the Indiana Department of Insurance in certain cases before a civil suit can be filed in state court naming the defendant healthcare providers.

The woman who filed the complaint is represented by the Powless Law Firm, which is located in Indianapolis and represents victims of nursing home neglect and abuse. “The decision by his healthcare providers to give this patient a whole pill in hopes that he could swallow it, knowing of his risk of choking, was a tragic care failure that unfortunately ended his life,” said Jeff Powless, an attorney for the elderly couple who filed the claim.

The complaint alleges that to date, the Defendants have refused to accept any responsibility for the harm to the claimant.

Our investigation into this matter is still ongoing. If you are a former employee of the Heritage House of Greensburg with knowledge concerning any of these matters, please contact us confidentially by calling 877-769-5377.

The proposed complaint filed in this matter with the Indiana Department of Insurance is a public record.

The Powless Law Firm is an Indiana law firm that represents victims and families state-wide in serious cases involving nursing home neglect, medical negligence, personal injury and wrongful death. If you have concerns about nursing home neglect or abuse, please contact us at 877-769-5377. Together we can make a difference.

Other related articles of interest:

Complaint Against Indiana Nursing Home Alleges Neglect and Understaffing

The Problem of Pain Medication Theft in Nursing Homes

Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against Columbus Indiana Nursing Home

 

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