Bretz v. Covenant Care, Inc.

As is the case with many people when they get to be 80 years old, Ben Bretz began to demonstrate diminished mental capacities and could no longer be cared for at home. His family placed him at Covenant Care, trusting that he would receive the care he needed. Instead, the facility over-medicated him with psychotropic drugs, failed to feed him properly and then falsified their records to cover it up, and allowed him to become dehydrated. Eventually, it was discovered that Mr. Bretz had mysteriously broken his femur, the strongest bone in the body, in three places. There was no documentation as to how, when, or where this happened. When he was finally taken to the hospital, he was so malnourished and dehydrated that the hospital was unable to perform surgery to properly fix his leg.

Lesley was able to show that Mr. Bretz’s injuries were a result of chronic understaffing: over-worked and under-paid employees who just didn’t have enough time to perform simple tasks to prevent malnourishment, dehydration, and fractures. While money cannot relieve the pain and loss of dignity Ben Bretz suffered, the large settlement brought the ramifications of understaffing and substandard training into terms administrators of such facilities can understand: money.

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