Genesis sued for allegedly administering drugs to resident without consent

The family of a former resident of a Genesis Healthcare facility is suing the company, the facility and its medical director for allegedly administering risky medications to the resident without her consent.

The lawsuit, filed on Sept. 2., claims Milford Center, a Genesis facility located in Milford, DE, began administering antipsychotic medications to Sylvia Pierce after she was admitted in September 2014. Two of Pierce's children, her legally appointed medical decision-makers, said in the suit that they were not notified and did not give the facility consent to administer the drugs.

The drugs given to Pierce included the Zyprexa, an antipsychotic that can cause death in people with dementia, which Pierce had. She also received the antidepressants Remeron and Zyloft.

The lawsuits claim the facility's staff was negligent in their administering of the drugs to Pierce, which caused her condition to deteriorate. She died in November 2014.

"We believe that the drugs were not administered for any medical purpose. It was more of a restraint type of purpose," said Chase T. Brockstedt, legal counsel for the family, told the News Journal. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Genesis cannot comment on pending litigation or the specifics of any patient's care due to HIPAA regulations, but the Milford facility remains “committed to providing quality care to each and every patient and resident,” the company said in a statement to McKnight's.