LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)- The family of an elderly woman said she died in pain after a nurse stole her medicine. That nurse has been accused before.
The family of Mildred Moore argues a nurse, Angelica Levesque, was stealing their grandmother’s pain medication.
“A lot of the family members were present when Mildred Moore was in horrible, intractable pain, screaming and the facility didn’t know why because they thought she was getting her pain medications,” said family attorney Hollynd Hoskins.
According to the lawsuit filed by Moore’s family, Levesque stole liquid morphine intended for Moore. They’re suing the parent company of Glen Ayr, the nursing home in Lakewood, for negligent hiring, retention and supervision.
“They took her to a hospital, when they gave her the amount she needed, she went into a coma and ultimately died,” said Hoskins.
The family attorney said it could have been prevented.
“They had so much information available to them. They had information that was public on the Colorado Medical Board that in fact this nurse had preyed upon the elderly in a nursing home in her employment and stolen the controlled substances and had been placed on probation. That information was public and despite that they went ahead and hired her and placed her in a position of trust as director of nursing,” said Hoskins.
On the Department of Regulatory Agencies website, that very stipulation issued by the State Nursing Board to Levesque in 2000 can easily be found.
She was placed on a one year suspension for filling Vicodin and Percocet prescriptions for another elderly patient.
That search, according to the family and their attorney, should have alerted the nursing home about who they hired.
Since the death of Moore, Levesque has been convicted of three felonies. She is behind bars for the next 3 years on both drug and theft convictions.
Glen Ayr issued this statement, in part, “Glen Ayr staff identified the issue and initiated the report that led to the criminal investigation of the nurse in question and fully cooperated with regulatory agencies, law enforcement authorities and the district attorney’s office.
As a licensed nursing home, Glen Ayr conducts criminal background and licensure checks on all nurses applying for positions at the facility. Glen Ayr is proud of the fact that it employs qualified nurses who are in good standing with our State licensing agencies. With respect to the nurse in question, the appropriate background checks were done and there were no findings that would have prevented any health care agency from hiring her.”