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Evergreen Nursing Home Lawsuit

Carl Saiontz

A nursing home neglect lawsuit has been filed in Montana against Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation following the death of a resident who fell at least four times during a 35-day stay. The family alleges that the Evergreen nursing home caused the death by failing to maintain adequate staffing levels and providing insufficient training.

>>INFORMATION: Nursing Home Staffing and Training Problems

On June 13, 2007, an 87 year old resident at the Evergreen Bozeman Health and Rehabilitation Center was found bleeding and unconscious after a fall, and she died of cerebral hemorrhage the following day. Her husband and their three children filed a lawsuit on July 23, 2008, through their nursing home lawyers at Waddell and Magam, in Bozeman, Montana.
During the course of her stay at the Evergreen nursing home, the family alleges that staffing levels dropped twice, which they claim was the primary cause of her death. Although the resident was a high risk for falls, the lawsuit alleges she was not assisted in going to the toilet because of staff shortages, and had to attempt to go on her own due to a lack of response to her multiple calls.

Insufficient staffing levels pose a substantial risk to residents at nursing homes throughout the United States. Current law requires at least one aid per 14 residents, but many consumers and advocacy groups have called for increased minimum staffing levels to protect residents. However, the nursing home industry has resisted increases in staffing due to the costs.

There are at least 58 Evergreen nursing homes throughout the West, including several in Montana, and they have faced multiple legal claims in recent years as staffing levels have dropped. The Montana Deptartment of Health and Human Services has also cited Evergreen Bozeman for several deficiencies in 2007, including leaving alone people who were known to be at risk of falls.

According to local news reports, in the Evergreen lawsuit filed, lawyers for the nursing home are attempting to argue that the family should be barred from suing their facility in court due to an arbitration agreement signed at the time she was admitted. Nursing home arbitration agreements are being required more and more frequently by facilities who want to deny injured and neglected residents the right to pursue their legal rights in courts.

The agreements waive the resident’s right to file a case in court if they are abused or neglected while at the facility. A new reform bill which was passed last month, the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act, is designed to invalidate these mandatory arbitration clauses, which many families have never read or even know they signed.


The nursing home lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate and review potential cases for neglect and abuse throughout the United States. In most cases of neglect, inadequate staffing, poor training and insufficient supervision are the primary cause of severe and life threatening injuries. If your family member or loved one has suffered a nursing home injury, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

2 Comments Add Your Comments

  1. my 83 yr.ld mpther was put in a nursing home and was there only 20 mins, when she atempted to go to the bathroom and fell and broke her nose. we were just finishing the paper work when i walked into her room and she was on her way down to the floor. there was blood everywhere and the staff came running in when they heard me yell out. a least 10 people came in but did nothing but stand there. i as ked for a doctor and there was none, so i asked for 911 to come. in the process of all this my paper work and my will that was in a leather boound case disappeared and noone would answer me when i said where are my papers. my husband fininally foun d them at the nurses dest with a nurse going through them all.i don’t know how the papers got up and walked to the desk in the hall, but apparently that is what the nursing facility says happened. that they didn’t take anything out of the room, and that i am making an alligation, that they say is not true. my mother suffered a broken nose, and needed another cat scan at the hospital. they did not do anything for her but scan and clean her up. her mouth was caked with blood. it was hard to get it cleaned out. she had sever cuts in her mouth to which she now has bad scar tissues that bothers her a lot. prior to her gettin into the facility, the doctor at one of the hospitals said she had 3-10 days to live and that we would not be able to take care of her needs. so they brought in hospice and they both made the diagonises that she needs to go to a home to be cared for. then this is what happened to he. she had been on a feeding tube, and drugged so heavily that she was non responsive to anything or any one. when she fell she was talking and walking again. i called the health dept of San Diego, and they say they can’t prove anything there for they have no case on the hospital or the nursing home, which was Life Care Center, in Escondido, Ca they did say that the hospitals #(2) just warehoused her the whole time, from 20-23rd.at #2 hospital. she was in the hospital from 5-12-08 to 5-23-08. she was transfered to hospital# 2 because of her insurance coverage was not contracted for the first one. i have seen the bills and have had to pay the co-payments for all of these incidents, that were not necessary. she walked into the emergency room on the 12th, and was then declared dying anyday afterwards. she is now living with me and is doing as well as expected for someone with a stroke. does this sound to you like a normal occurence? if we had not walked inot her room she probably would have dide in her own blood.

  2. My mother was in their facility in Shelton WA from May 19, 2004 till she passed away at age 95 on March 19, 2005, I would be with her after work and on weekends, I put her to bed I observed a lot of neclect due to the understaffed and overworked employees, the residents sat in their wheelchairs for hours at a time and my mother passed away suddenly of CHF under suspicious circumstances, they failed t o call me at work during a terrible episode just a day before her passing., when I did get up there after work, I found her all morphined up with a chunk of meat in her mouth and her mouth wide open breathing heavily in a coma, this was on May 18, 2005 and she passed away the next morning, I never did get a straight answer as to what really happened while I was at work on the 18th and why they never called me like they were instructed to do, also I observed another elderly resident die just before my mom passed away due to another very active male resident falling on her prior a couple days before her death, I remember seeing her face black and blue, as she was in the next room to my mother. The residents would ring their bells and no one would come especially at night as there would be no one on the floor. I still get chills from the memories of Evergreen Nursing home under the name of Shelton Health and Rehab. Thank you for letting me vent.

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