Assistant Director of Nursing's Actions Allegedly Led to Resident's Tragic Demise
Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a Guardian Healthcare skilled nursing facility, is facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the law firm of Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. The lawsuit claims that the death of 68-year-old resident Marianne Bower was directly caused by the facility's Assistant Director of Nursing, Heather Pressdee. The lawsuit reveals a disturbing series of events that led to this tragic incident.
Background Check Neglect
The complaint alleges that in April of 2021, Belair hired Heather Pressdee as its Assistant Director of Nursing. Prior to her employment at Belair, Pressdee had a troubling history, having been terminated or forced to resign from six previous local healthcare facilities in less than three years due to allegations of abusive behavior towards both residents and staff. The lawsuit claims that Belair failed to conduct an appropriate background check on Pressdee, creating a dangerous environment for the facility's vulnerable residents.
As Heather Pressdee began her role at Belair, rumors circulated among the staff that residents under her care were experiencing unexplained deteriorations in their health. Other members of the nursing staff raised concerns about Pressdee's actions, but instead of conducting a proper investigation, Belair's administration allegedly disciplined the nurses for discussing their suspicions.
In August 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), responsible for overseeing skilled nursing homes in the state, cited Belair for a series of deficiencies. These included failing to assess and document changes in residents' blood sugar levels, failing to notify physicians of residents' condition changes, and failing to follow physicians' orders. The DOH issued citations as an alert, indicating that residents were in “immediate jeopardy” due to the nursing home's noncompliance with regulations.
During the DOH investigation, it was revealed that Heather Pressdee had failed to alert a physician when a resident's blood sugar levels were dangerously high. However, Belair reportedly failed to take appropriate action, allowing Pressdee to continue in her role as Assistant Director of Nursing.
Fatal Dose of Insulin
Tragically, several weeks later, Heather Pressdee administered a lethal dose of insulin to Marianne Bower, who neither had diabetes nor was prescribed insulin. This incident ultimately resulted in Ms. Bower's death on September 28, 2021.
The lawsuit filed by Robert Peirce & Associates alleges various counts against Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation and several Guardian Healthcare Defendants, asserting that the actions of the Defendants caused or contributed to Marianne Bower's death.
Criminal Charges Against Pressdee
Additionally, as reported in the media, Heather Pressdee was charged with two counts of criminal homicide in relation to a separate set of events at another skilled nursing facility in Chicora, Pennsylvania. These charges have since been upgraded to murder in the first-degree and murder in the third-degree.
Demand for Accountability
“To allow her behavior with patients to go unchecked despite multiple concerns from staff is unconscionable. No one who trusts a facility with their loved one's care should ever have to experience what Marianne Bower's family is going through,” said Robert Peirce & Associates Managing Partner, Rob Peirce.
“This is a shocking failure on the part of Belair Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center and Guardian Healthcare to look into Heather Pressdee's background—especially with so many red flags,” added Robert Peirce & Associates Partner, Scott Simon.
The law firm of Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. will hold a press conference regarding the civil lawsuit on October 3, 2023, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time at 707 Grant Street, Suite 125, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. For remote participation, a Zoom Meeting will be available (Meeting ID: 915 9166 3730, Passcode: 287488).
This lawsuit shines a light on the importance of thorough background checks and rigorous oversight in healthcare facilities, as well as the devastating consequences of alleged negligence within the system. Marianne Bower's family, along with the legal team, seeks justice and accountability in this tragic case.
Related Media Coverage:
WXPI Channel 11 Pittsburgh: Lawsuit alleges nurse killed 3rd patient by administering fatal dose of insulin
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Lawsuit claims 'killer nurse' already accused in 2 deaths responsible for third