Families Sue Nursing Home in Butler County Following Tragic Deaths Linked to Former Nurse in Pennsylvania

Apr 18, 10:00 AM

The Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is facing multiple lawsuits after two of its former patients died under suspicious circumstances, which have led to criminal charges against a former nurse, Heather Pressdee.

Heather Pressdee is accused of causing the deaths of Irene Simons, 78, and Sandra Lincoln, 82, by intentionally administering lethal doses of insulin and other harmful substances during her tenure at Sunnyview and other facilities between 2020 and 2023. Pressdee's alleged misconduct has resulted in her facing criminal charges for the deaths and injuries of 22 patients, 17 of whom died.

The families of Simons and Lincoln have initiated separate legal actions against Sunnyview Operating LLC, the parent company of the nursing home, and in Lincoln's case, Premier Healthcare Management, LLC is also named as a defendant.

The wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Simons cites negligence and reckless behavior by Sunnyview for not only employing Pressdee despite her "alarming history of resident abuse," but also for failing to protect residents from her. After Simons’ death, Pressdee's purportedly personal gestures like sending flowers and a sympathy card were detailed in the lawsuit, contrasted starkly by her later confession to overdosing Simons with insulin.

"The lawsuit includes disturbing details, such as a handwritten note by Pressdee that reads, ‘Words can’t say how sorry I am for the loss of Irene. She was one of a kind. She was an amazing women. (heart) Heather,’ shortly after her death," states the complaint.

In a similar vein, the lawsuit for Lincoln alleges that Pressdee was overheard saying Lincoln "needed to die" shortly before her death. Details from the complaint highlight a chilling sequence of events where Pressdee reportedly called Lincoln’s daughter to inform her of her mother's impending death, only to later admit to intentionally attempting to hasten it via an injection of air intended to induce an air embolism.

"These lawsuits aim to hold Sunnyview and its management accountable for the tragic outcomes that stemmed from systemic failures to oversee and control staff actions," stated an attorney representing the Lincoln family.

Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has been implicated in three lawsuits to date following a series of suspicious patient deaths linked to Pressdee's tenure at the facility. Other facilities where Pressdee worked have also faced legal actions, pointing to a broader pattern of alleged negligence and misconduct.

The families of the deceased are seeking justice through damages and jury trials, hoping to spotlight the need for stringent oversight and accountability in patient care within nursing facilities.

As the community reels from these revelations, the legal proceedings are keenly watched by healthcare advocates and families alike, underscoring the critical importance of trustworthy care environments for the vulnerable elderly population.
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