An elderly patient who fell at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center is suing the hospital, its parent company and his physician over his fractured hip and subsequent care which he attributes to deliberate understaffing as a cost-savings measure.
Hausia M. Moala and his wife, Funaki T. Moala are seeking damages for elder abuse, medical malpractice and loss of consortium, according to the suit filed Aug. 20 in San Mateo County Superior Court against Mils-Peninsula Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Sutter Health and Dr. Dirk Baumann.
The defendants used an “understaffing” plan to “reduce labor costs and to increase profits” at the expense of patients like Hausia M. Moala, the suit states. During Maola’s time there, the named defendants were “well aware” the understaffing “created a perilous risk of inadequate nursing care, dangerous falls, injuries, neglect and abuse of the elderly patients,” the suit states.
A Mills-Peninsula Health Services spokeswoman did not return inquiries for comment.
Moala’s attorney, James McCallion, said yesterday he did not have time to discuss the details of the case but described it as “great.”
Hausia M. Moala, then 74, was a patient at the hospital from Aug. 27, 2012 to Sept. 9, 2012. He had been admitted to undergo a left leg angioplasty but two days later fell in the recovery room and sustained a hip fracture that went undiagnosed until Sept. 2, 2012 despite swelling and pain, according to the suit.
Moala’s lawsuit said hospital personnel were aware of his numerous health problems and high risk of falls at the time he entered the facility.
The suit also claims Moala was placed in further pain by medical staff manipulating the left leg and humiliated by personnel telling his family he was acting like “a baby.” The label was so prevalent even his wife believed it, the suit states.
Moala, who weighs more than 300 pounds, was never given a fall assessment after the incident and was transferred from one bed to another without regard to the fracture, the suit contends.
A case management conference is scheduled for Dec. 19.
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