Nursing Home Resident Victim to Wrongful Death in Philadelphia: The mother of a woman with disabilities who died after a paper towel or disinfecting wipe was found in her trachea has secured a wrongful death attorney in her lawsuit against the Philadelphia nursing home where her daughter lived for 40 years.

According to a news report by NBC Philadelphia, a wrongful death lawsuit has been brought by the mother of a woman with disabilities who died in a Philadelphia nursing home in January.  Cheryl Yewdall, 50, who had cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities, died days after being discovered lying on the floor at the Merakey Woodhaven care home with a large clump of paper wadded in  her throat.

Marakey Woodhaven has denied any responsibility for Yewdall’s death. The home offered condolences but no explanation as to how the paper—determined to be 6 to 7 inches of either a paper towel or a cleaning wipe—got into her trachea.

Following Yewdall’s death, the Pennsylvania Department of Health sought to terminate Woodhaven’s license. According to the article, regulators discovered two relevant failures suggestive of nursing home malpractice associated with the home: failing to provide prompt emergency treatment to one resident who suffered a hip fracture, and failing to protect two other residents with the eating disorder pica, which involves eating non-food items such as paper.

While Yewdall’s records showed no history of pica, they also showed a normal functioning of her gag reflex which, according to the wrongful death attorney involved in the suit, indicates Yewdall could not have inserted the wipe or paper towel into her own windpipe.

The exact manner of Yewdall’s death could not be found by medical examiner’s office. While no charges have been made, the wrongful death attorney for the mother of the deceased woman has cast suspicion on an unnamed staff member at the home.

This suspicion stems from evidence of nursing home malpractice directly involving Yewdall herself.  According to the article, in early 2021 Yewdall suffered for weeks after her broken leg went undiagnosed and the physician-ordered treatment—a leg immobilizer—was not implemented because the staff “did not know how” to put it on her. Later that year, Yewdall was found to have sustained a black eye and swollen cheek, which the nursing home claimed was the result of a fall. Beyond these incidents indicating nursing home malpractice is a third matter considered highly significant to the wrongful death attorney, according to the article. This matter involves an audio recording of Yewdall—who is limited verbally and has a condition known as echolalia, which involves the repeating of other people’s words and phrases—as saying “I’m gonna kill you if you don’t settle down.”

“Cheryl’s recounting of what she heard previously, and the undisputed facts of what occurred to her during that yearlong period (before her death), match up,” said wrongful death attorney James Pepper.

Nursing home wrongful death can be defined as the death of a nursing home resident as a direct result of injuries caused by the negligent or abusive behavior of nursing home care providers. Such injuries can range from nursing home falls, to bedsores and other infections, to malnutrition and dehydration and more. If you believe your loved one may be a nursing home resident victim to wrongful death as the result of injuries due to nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t wait to contact a wrongful death attorney.

Successfully Resolving Wrongful Death Cases

As a nursing home malpractice and wrongful death attorney, Brian P. Murphy is committed to fighting for the health and safety of Philadelphia/PA an NJ nursing home residents. No Philadelphia/PA or NJ nursing home resident should be subjected to the abusive and negligent acts that amount to nursing home negligence.  Brian Murphy has years of experience as a wrongful death attorney fighting negligent nursing homes and is committed to successfully resolving his clients’ cases. Should you find yourself needing to contact a nursing home malpractice and wrongful death attorney, call Brian Murphy today to discuss your legal options.