Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit Says Misappropriation of Funds for “Deplorable Conditions” at Haven Healthcare Facility

<"">Nursing home negligence by Connecticut’s largest nursing home chain was the result of fraud committed by a Haven Healthcare official.  Those claims are made in a wrong death lawsuit filed by the family of Robert Wininger, a resident of one of Haven Healthcare’s nursing homes who the lawsuit claims died as a result of the nursing home negligence.  The suit claims  misappropriation of Haven funds by Chief Executive Officer Raymond Termini contributed to “deplorable conditions” at Connecticut’s largest nursing home chain.

The family is also seeking permission to sue the state departments of public health and social services and Nancy Shaffer, the state’s long-term care ombudsman, for failing to investigate and act on complaints lodged by Wininger’s family.

Wininger was a patient at Haven homes for nearly 2 1/2 years when he was rushed from Haven Health Center of Norwich to Backus Hospital on June 5, 2007 after his wife found him in excruciating pain and his legs gangrenous and in early rigor mortis, allegedly due to an untreated and infected pressure sore on his hip and physical restraints that immobilized him. Wininger died two days later. The lawsuit names Termini; Dr. Cornelio Hong, former medical director at several Haven nursing homes; and Dr. Joselito Endaya, Wininger’s treating physician and a partner in Hong’s private medical practice as defendants. Endaya does not appear to have been on Haven’s payroll.

Wininger was admitted to Haven for short-term rehabilitation on January 25, 2005, after a fall at home.  Records indicate that on February 12, 2007 nursing staff noticed a Stage II pressure sore on Wininger’s right hip.  The suit claims Wininger’s family was not notified about the wound and Wininger received no treatment.  Later that month, staff noted Wininger’s right leg was “purplish,” but there was no indication of follow-up care.

Wininger was transferred to another Haven Center on March 14, 2007 to be closer to family.  There, staff noted an open wound on his hip/buttock area on March 19, but a nursing note a week later indicates the skin was intact, a fact the suit claims is “medically impossible…and demonstrates the inadequate care and poor record-keeping characteristic of the Haven homes.”

The suit alleges that both doctors failed to adequately examine and treat Wininger and contributed to a standard of care “that was so bad as to constitute physical abuse of patients”; they violated the state’s Patients’ Bill of Rights by their inadequate care and restraining Wininger; staff did not perform medically necessary physical therapy, keeping Wininger; Haven entities filed for bankruptcy when their dire financial straits and numerous fines for inadequate patient care were exposed in a newspaper series; and Termini “knowingly drained and misappropriated the assets of Haven homes…and used the assets to furnish a lavish lifestyle and launch a Nashville record company known as Category Five Records, resulting in deplorable conditions in the Haven homes and numerous preventable injuries and deaths of residents, including [Wininger].”

Hong left Haven the week after Wininger died and has since sued Haven for $13,000 for back pay.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating whether Termini misappropriated federal funding intended for patient care to underwrite his own business and personal investments.  Haven Healthcare—through its attorney—denied Haven’s financial problems had any bearing on patient care.

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