A Chevy Chase woman has filed an $8 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Wisconsin Avenue Nursing Home in connection with the June 12 death of her sister, Mildred Baker, 77, who had been a resident of the home for 46 days.
Baker died 17 hours after being rushed to George Washington University Medical Center suffering from dehydration. An investigation by the D.C. Commission on the Healing Arts found that extra fluids ordered by Baker's doctor were never given during her stay at the nursing home, which is owned by Beverly Enterprises.
The lawsuit also names Wallace F. Holladay and Wallace F. Holladay Jr., both of the District, who were general partners in a limited partnership that first leased, and then sold the home to Beverly Enterprises this year. Neither could be reached for comment.
In the lawsuit, Baker's older sister, Edmonia Barley, charges that the home used "haphazard" hiring practices that resulted in "incompetent, underqualified" staff who gave inadequate care.
The home allowed Baker to "deteriorate to a condition from which she could not recover," the lawsuit charges.
Baker entered the nursing home after she was hospitalized with a broken hip from a fall. Her sister said she often complained to staff members at the home that her sister was not receiving proper care. "I do not want what happened to my sister to happen to anyone else," said Barley. "It was horrible beyond words."
Jane Reddicker, a spokeswoman for Beverly Enterprises, said yesterday, "We feel it is inappropriate to comment as it is now in litigation." The home has defended Baker's care as "proper and adequate."