Couple files suit against Extendicare Homes after daughter dies in Edmonds, Washington facility

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Howard and Ardis Steele have filed a suit against Extendicare Homes, Inc., a Wisconsin-based care facility that owns and operates 14 facilities in Washington, including Aldercrest Rehabilitation in Edmonds, where the Steele’s daughter died.

Lee Ann Steele, 48, died shortly after she was admitted to Aldercrest Rehabilitation, where her parents placed her after she suffered a stroke. According to the Steele’s, Lee Ann stopped breathing and suffered brain damage within 24 hours of being admitted to Aldercrest due to nursing home neglect.

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According to the Steeles, the staff never checked on Lee Ann. The Steele’s found Lee Ann lying on a rubber mattress with no sheet and tracheal tube equipment lying on the floor on the day she suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen. She stopped breathing because her tracheal tube clogged with mucous and no one cleared it. Lee Ann died within two months of being admitted. Simply stated, the Steele’s believe Lee Ann died of nursing home neglect.

The Steele’s suit alleges that Extendicare violated consumer protection laws because they fail to provide proper care in their facilities. Extendicare owns 14 facilities in Washington State, including Aldercare. In all, the company owns 188 senior care facilities. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin where the company is based, the report said that 20 of the 26 facilities there have al had serious violations within the past three years. Two of the Washington facilities — in Auburn and Spokane — are on a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services list which requires troubled facilities to have extra inspections.

Most nursing homes are professional and have a staff that are conscientious about their jobs. But, sometimes, the for-profit nature of the nursing home business means that patients’ needs are sometimes not attended to either because of inadequate staffing, insufficient staff training and lack of supervision.

Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms including bedsores, broken bones, dehydration, malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia, urinary tract infections, over prescribing and sometimes even physical or sexual abuse.

If you or a loved one has been serious injured or a loved one has died due to nursing home negligence or abuse, contact The Farber Law Group, a law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect.

See our Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Resources.