Daughter Claims Hospice Let Mom Starve To Death
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – A woman claims her elderly mother died from starvation because Kaiser did not give her enough food and water for two months, in a complaint filed in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Sandra Lovato sued Kaiser Foundation Hospital Hospice-Sacramento, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, The Kaiser Permanente Group, and three caregivers on behalf of her late mother, Letha Sorokowski.
Lovato, Sorokowsk’s only daughter, claims the three caregivers did not give her mom enough food or water despite having the duty to give her adequate care on a daily basis, and she died two months after entering hospice.
The three caregivers should have known that withholding food and water was “tantamount to a death sentence, especially when visited upon a woman over 90 years of age who was already ill,” the complaint states.
Lovato, who could not care for her mom on a daily basis, claims the caregivers did not keep her apprised of her mom’s condition until she was near death from sepsis, a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, “and other deplorable health care conditions.”
The caregivers should have known to take Sorokowski to the hospital when she fell ill, but they decided not to in order to spare Kaiser the expense of treating her, according to the complaint.
Lovato claims her mom’s mistreatment is part of Kaiser’s corporate-level decision to reduce staffing levels necessary to care for elderly patients to increase its own profits. As a result of these monetarily-motivated cutbacks, Lovato says, her mom was often left helpless, unable to get out bed, use the toilet, bathe, or otherwise care for herself.
She seeks general, special, and punitive damages for wrongful death, elder abuse, willful misconduct, and hospice liability.
She is represented by attorney Richard Lewis.