Late teacher’s family sues nursing facility

DOVER — The family of a long-time Capital School District teacher has filed suit against a nursing facility, claiming that improperly administered drugs led to her death.

According to the allegations, Sylvia Pierce’s health steadily worsened upon entering Milford Center in September 2014. She died 59 days later after improperly receiving drugs used to treat mental illness.

The family claims the late Mrs. Pierce was administered drugs without its consent, including one — Zyprexa — that’s possibly fatal to elderly people with dementia, with which she was afflicted.

Mrs. Pierce’s children, Robert and Sandra Ann, said they had medical power of attorney since she lacked the capacity to consent.

By the time the family learned of the drugs used, according to the lawsuit, Mrs. Pierce’s physical condition was beyond recovery due to the overmedication.

Also named as a defendant, among others, was Milford Center owner Genesis Healthcare, Inc.

Describing his family as “devastated” in a news release, Mr. Pierce said “We are filing this lawsuit with the hope of alerting other families to dangerous nursing facility treatment of people with dementia.”

The late Ms. Pierce lived in Kent County most of her life, and taught third grade in Dover’s Capitol School District for 25 years.

The family is represented by Baird Mandalas Brockstedt, LLC, and AARP Foundation Litigation.

“Our firm is on the front lines of nursing home litigation in Delaware with the goal to protect the aged and hold those responsible for abuse and neglect accountable,” attorney Chase T. Brockstedt said in the news release.

“This case is a tragic example of what happens when patient care is secondary to corporate profits.”

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