Elderly Woman Died Following Surgery, Family Claims
3-17-2015 22:21:00

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (CN) - An 81-year-old woman died of sepsis and pneumonia following shoulder surgery, her family claims in Sonoma County Superior Court.

     Sinda Dinan and Jason Duenas, individually and as successors-in-interest and personal representatives of the Estate of Deloris Merkel, sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Permanente Home Health Agency, Parkview Gardens and Ensign Montgomery. Dinan and Duenas allege negligence, elder abuse, wrongful death, survivorship and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
     “Deloris Merkel was at various times a resident of Kaiser Santa Rosa and Parkview Gardens from approximately Dec. 2013 to Feb. 2014. Throughout her time at Kaiser Santa Rosa and Parkview Gardens, defendants failed to obtain her fully informed consent and failed to provide necessary care and protection to Deloris Merkel, failed to report changes in her condition to her physicians and family and retained and provided care to her after such care was allowed by statute. The pattern of substandard care and neglect to Deloris Merkel put her at extremely high risk for the development of a severe wound and pneumonia and resulting complications, including her ultimate death. As a result of neglect by the defendants, Deloris Merkel died on Feb. 9, 2014,” the complaint states.
     Merkel fell twice in Dec. 2013, injuring her shoulder the second time, according to the complaint.
     “She presented to Kaiser Santa Rosa. Defendants eventually determined shoulder surgery was indicated. Shoulder surgery was performed at Kaiser Santa Rosa on or about Jan. 15, 2014. Thereafter, Deloris Merkel developed pneumonia and sepsis and died, all while under the care and custody and treatment of defendants, and each of them,” the complaint states.
     Sinda Dinan and Jason Duenas seek general, special and punitive damages, attorney’s fees, pre-death pain and suffering, costs of suit and pre-judgment interest. They are represented by Douglas C. Fladseth in Santa Rosa.