Kirkland adult family home owner and caregiver charged in patient’s death

The owner of the Houghton Lakeview Adult Home in Kirkland, Patricia Goodwill of Marysville, is charged with “failure to report” and one of her employees, Effie Tutor-Dutton of Lynnwood, has been charged with criminal mistreatment in connection with the death of a patient at the home.

According to a report on Seattle’s KOMO News.com, Jean Rudolph, an 87 year old resident at the adult family home died in June 2008 of a bone infection caused by severe bed sores. Rudolph weighed only 68 pounds when she died at a hospital where she was taken for treatment by her son.

Court documents said that Rudolph’s bed sores were so severe that her hip bone was exposed. Rudolph, who had dementia, was unable to communicate her pain.

Bed sores or pressure sores are layman’s terms for decubitus ulcers. A bedsore is a common injury to nursing home patients and is caused by neglect. They are caused when the patient is not positioned correctly in bed and is not cared for. In the early stages, bed sores are treatable with especially designed cushions and turning the patient often. Rudolph suffered from the worst form of ulcer, a Stage IV, where the ulcer extended into the muscle, tendon and bone. It would have taken a period of time for a Stage IV ulcer to develop.

Rudolph’s son, James Rudolph, said he visited his mother twice weekly but that he was not aware of the bedsore until he was informed by Tutor-Dutton as her sores were covered by her bed clothing.

In the case of a patient who dies of nursing home abuse or neglect, the family of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We have more than 30 years experience representing victims of nursing home abuse and neglect and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.