Iowa Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit Details Unexamined, Untreated Spinal Fractures

Nursing Home Abuse

Citing failures on the part of multiple staff members, the family of an Iowa woman has filed a nursing home neglect lawsuit against Hillcrest Health Care Services, as well as five individual employees of the facility. Peggy Peck was only 58 years old when she died of a bone infection that the plaintiffs claim festered and spread as a result of the lack of medical attention after the woman fell and fractured two vertebrae in her neck.

Named in the nursing home neglect lawsuit was the nursing facility itself, as well as employees Dr. Dale Nystrom, Joni Johnson, Amber Baker, Sarah Westover, and Michelle Van Noort. The lawsuit is seeking both economic damages and punitive damages for the physical and emotional pain that they caused her to suffer when they failed to provide or seek medical attention for her injuries.

Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit Details Painful Failures

According to the claims set out in the lawsuit, the nursing home neglect began before Peggy Peck actually suffered her injury. She had rung her call bell to request a staff member’s help to the bathroom, and after waiting an hour she decided to go alone. She fell in the bathroom, then complained to the staff about pain in her neck after her fall. Rather than requesting an examination, the staff asked Dr. Dale Nystrom for narcotic pain medication, which he prescribed without examining her. Despite numerous requests to be seen by a physician the staff members refused, apparently believed that she was faking her injury. When her family was finally notified of her condition a month later, they requested that she be transferred to a hospital, at which point one of the defendants said aloud, “Good, now maybe they’ll find out nothing is wrong (and) she can come back and behave better.”

When Peck was examined at a nearby hospital, she was discovered to have fractured her spine and to be suffering from osteomyelitis, an infection of the bones, within her fractures. She died less than two weeks later.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.