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Dementia Patient's Family Files California Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Medical Shuttle Bus Company

December 31, 1969

The family of 73-year-old Kenneth Chin is suing Medsam Enterprises for his California wrongful death. Chin, who suffered from dementia, died of hypothermia after he went missing for 10 days.

His loved ones contend that the driver of a medical shuttle bus left him at the wrong stop. According to the family's California wrongful death lawyer, the bus operator was a substitute driver and it was his first day navigating this route. They also claim he didn't speak English very well, which resulted in numerous failures, including his allegedly not telling the family about Chin in a timely manner. Chin's relatives are also seeking damages for California elder abuse.

"Dementia is a serious problem. Those charged with the supervision of someone suffering from this type of mental illness must know how to take proper care so that serious injury or death doesn't result," said Orange County, California elder abuse lawyer Vincent Howard.

A New York Times article in 2009 noted that although dementia is considered a mental disease, it also is a physical illness that is terminal, as it plagues the brain and ultimately causes the body to fail. That said, the cognitive effects of dementia can place a patient suffering from this illness at risk of wandering, which may prove fatal.

A dementia patient who goes off unsupervised may not know who or where he/she is. The patient might not remember that crossing the street is dangerous. Patients who wander can end up far from the safety of their residence or nursing home, placing them at risk of becoming the victim of a sexual assault, a violent crime, or an Orange County, California fall accident causing traumatic brain injury or broken bones. Hypothermia from the body temperature dropping too low, dehydration, starvation, and hyperthermia can also prove dangerous for a person already suffering from serious dementia-related complications.

Often, Orange County, California personal injury claims involving dementia are directed at nursing homes that failed to properly supervise or take care of a patient. "Unfortunately, Anaheim elder neglect is a serious problem and it is the patients that end up suffering," said Orange County, California wrongful death lawyer Vincent Howard. However, as shown in the case of Chin, sometimes the party accused of negligence can be someone else other than an elder care facility.

As a family member of someone suffering from dementia it is important that you make sure that the party tasked with caring for your relative is familiar with the challenges that can come with this responsibility so that the appropriate and necessary services are provide. That said, even with one's best efforts to choose the right caregivers, transportation providers, and others, negligence may still result.

Family files lawsuit over dementia patient's death, ABC Local, February 8, 2012

Elderly At-Risk Man Missing Since Thursday, Last Seen In Richmond District, SF Appeal, February 26, 2012

More Blog Posts:
Orange County, California Nursing Home Negligence?: Newport Beach and Yorba Linda Facilities Fined Over Patient Deaths, California Injury Lawyers, December 20, 2011

California Nursing Home Fall Leads to $75K Fine by State, California Injury Lawyers, October 31, 2011

California Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit: Poor Care Allegedly Caused 80-Year-Old Female Dementia Patient to Suffer Dehydration, Malnutrition, and Infections, California Injury Lawyers, October 27, 2011

Contact Howard Law, PC and ask to speak with Anaheim elder abuse lawyer Vincent Howard.