The family of a man allegedly killed by a woman working as a nurse in a western Pennsylvania nursing home has sued the facility for failing to prevent his death.
Joseph Campbell, 83, died after receiving a lethal dose of insulin allegedly administered by Heather Pressdee while she worked at Quality Life Services in Chicora, a skilled nursing facility about an hour north of Pittsburgh. Pressdee is a registered nurse whose license appeared to have been active at the time of her arrest, despite a history of disciplinary actions at previous employers, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News previously reported.
A spokeswoman for Quality Life Services, a family-owned organization that operates 10 skilled nursing facilities in Pennsylvania, told McKnight’s Monday that the facility could not comment on pending litigation.
Pressdee worked at 11 healthcare facilities in western Pennsylvania over 11 years, including seven nursing homes. She is accused of administering lethal doses of unnecessary medication that resulted in the deaths of two patients and the hospitalization of a third, all in 2022. The charges include two counts of homicide, one count of attempted murder, a count of aggravated assault, three counts of neglect of a care-dependent person, and three counts of reckless endangerment.
The victims of the alleged homicides include a 55-year-old man and an 83-year-old man. A third victim, a 73-year-old man, survived after emergency hospitalization. The attorney general’s office said Pressdee drugged the men with insulin; two of the three were not diabetic. The deaths occurred in 2022; Pressdee was initially charged with the deaths in May.
“It’s just a terrible situation. Somebody took it upon themselves to decide who gets to live and who gets to die. Certainly not appropriate, and this woman should have never been given the opportunity to do that,” Ron Elliott, attorney for Campbell’s family, told WPXI News. The lawsuit says that Quality Life Services failed to supervise Pressdee properly, giving her the opportunity to access and administer drugs to patients to whom the medicine was not prescribed.
Elliott told WPXI that they might add Pressdee, who has been unable to post a bond and remains in jail, to the lawsuit.
McKnight’s previously reported that a certified registered nurse practitioner and Quality Life Services’ medical director began looking into the deaths after becoming suspicious when the two deceased victims were transported to the hospital within 30 minutes of each other with identical symptoms, according to the charging documents.