Overprescription of Antipsychotic Drugs to Seniors Class Action Lawsuit Settled

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that, in what may be the first class action lawsuit of its kind, a California nursing home has settled claims brought on behalf of 305 current and former residents that the hospital overprescribed antipsychotic medication to residents.  The lawsuit brought against the Ventura Convalescent Hospital in 2010 alleged that the facility engaged in the practice of  administering a variety of “extremely dangerous” antipsychotic drugs as an illegal means of chemically restraining seniors.  The facility agreed to pay nearly $750,000, with no admission of wrongdoing to settle the class action claims.

In one case reported by AARP, a 79-year old woman was admitted to the facility with a broken pelvis.  At the time of admission, the only medications being taken by the elderly woman were for blood pressure and cholesterol.  When the woman was discharged less than three weeks later, her daughter reported that “she wasn’t my mother anymore.”  Kathy Levine of Carpinteria, California reported that her mother had become “withdrawn,slumped in a wheelchair with her head down, chewing on her hand, her speech garbled.”  Within weeks after being discharged from the nursing home, her mother had died.

AARP has also reported the results of a University of California, San Francisco study suggesting that as many as 1 in 5 patients in more than 15,000 nursing home across the United States are administered antipsychotic drugs that are “not only unnecessary, but also extremely dangerous for older patients.”

If you or a loved one has been administered antipsychotic medication in a nursing home that you believe was harmful and unnecessary, you are urged to contact a class action attorney at Audet & Partners, LLP for a free, confidential case evaluation.  You can contact us either by calling (800) 965-1461, or by completing and submitting our online form on the right side of this page.

 

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