Nursing home sued over death following fall

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of a woman who died following a fall has sued the Williamson County nursing home where the incident allegedly occurred.

The family of Joe Ann McCullough alleges staff at Cottonwood Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, along with the administrators of the nursing home’s operators, were negligent in their duties to keep McCullough safe, according to a lawsuit filed in Williamson County District Court in late April.

The executor of McCullough’s estate is listed as a plaintiff.

In response to a request for comment regarding the lawsuit, Cottonwood Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center released the following statements.

“Providing the highest quality of care for Cottonwood Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center residents has been, and always will be, our top priority,” according to the statement. An affiliate of Senior Care Centers operates the nursing home.

“Senior Care Centers prides itself on the quality of care provided to all of its residents, and while we would like to respond formally to the allegations being made against the facility, out of respect for our residents’ privacy, we will reserve comment until we have a chance to review the lawsuit that has allegedly been filed,” the statement added. “Neither Senior Care Centers nor the facility has received a copy of the lawsuit referenced by KXAN.”

McCullough lived at the Cedar Park nursing home for just four days before she fell Feb. 23, 2013, allegedly injuring her head and face and breaking her hip. The fall led to her death March 9, 2013, according to the suit.

The lawsuit names as plaintiffs several other affiliated companies including Trisun Healthcare LLC and PM Management – Cedar Park NC LLC.

The lawsuit alleges the nursing home and its operators knew, or should have known, alleged deficient staffing and care would pose a threat to residents’ safety, the lawsuit states. The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

“Their conduct was not occasional or fortuitous, but rather was the natural and predictable result of the decisions made at the higher levels of Defendant’s corporate structure to maximize revenues and profits while at the same time reducing costs,” according to the lawsuit. “These defendants’ policies and financial decisions caused: a) repeated dangerous staffing levels at the facility…”

The suit does not provide details of McCullough’s fall or how it occurred.

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