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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Lawsuit Against Nursing Home Alleges Wrongful Death

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Two Physicians and two health care facilities have been listed in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Split Rail and facility employees are at the core of the suit which also names South West Arkansas Counseling and Mental Health Center as defendants.

Randolph, 41, was a resident at Split Rail, according to the lawsuit, at the time of his death in March 2005. The suit alleges the man suffered from schizophrenia and mental retardation and was dependant upon the staff for around the clock medical and mental health care.

According to the information on file at the Nevada County Circuit Clerk’s Office, Randolph complained of feeling ill on March 23 and staff reported that he was “visibly short of breath” on March 24. On March 25, Randolph was lethargic, had difficulty breathing and a weak pulse, according to the records. Randolph was even exhibiting a “jerky-like motion.” According to the lawsuit, those observations were part of the nursing staff records.

After reaching this point, he was reportedly taken to the Medical Park Hospital at Hope. The lawsuit alleges that the staff at Split Rail and the emergency room doctor who saw Randolph upon his arrival at the hospital “failed to properly assess and diagnose.” The lawsuit indicates that Vermont, as the primary care professional, also failed to perform treatment that would have saved his life.

It wasn’t until the shift change when Randolph was turned over to the care of another physician that the necessary steps were taken, the lawsuit alleges. The information indicates that the next doctor in charge of his case had him moved to a larger hospital but Randolph died April 4, 2005.

The lawsuit alleges that Split Rail is negligent by continuing failure to provide sufficient staff to maintain their fundament care needs and by failing to keep adequately trained staff. The lawsuit further alleges that the health care facility and physicians failed to assess his needs.

The suit also indicates they failed to notify his family within a timely manner of his becoming ill.