DPH finds multiple failures at Old Saybrook nursing home where 87-year-old died; ME declares death a homicide

DPH finds multiple failures at Old Saybrook nursing home where 87-year-old died
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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OLD SAYBROOK, CT (WFSB) - We have new information on a death at a nursing home in Old Saybrook.

The I-Team was the first to tell you that the death of an 87-year-old man at the Apple Rehab in Old Saybrook is being investigated as a homicide.

Now we’ve learned the state Department of Public Health says the nursing home failed to ensure the safety of that resident and others, following the altercation.

The I-Team was able to get this state DPH report, completed a few weeks after the death of 87-year-old Edward Flynn in June 20-22.

According to a lawsuit filed by Flynn’s daughter, Flynn died after being attacked by another resident who severely hurt his neck.

After conducting an inspection, DPH says they found Apple Rehab Old Saybrook failed to do several things in this case.

The medical examiner ruled Flynn’s death a homicide.

According to the ME, he died from complications of blunt force trauma to the neck.

DPH’s report details the altercation, after speaking to an eyewitness and several others.

A licensed practical nurse told DPH she heard a crash and found Flynn lying on the floor.

She says the other resident stated “I did it” claiming Flynn threatened him after he went and turned Flynn’s tv off.

The other resident says the two had been arguing over the t-v volume for two weeks.

He claimed he grabbed Flynn’s walker and pushed it, which resulted in Flynn falling and complaining of neck and back pain.

According to an eyewitness, they watched the resident - a 60-year-old man - push Flynn at “a high rate of speed.”

The witness said Flynn hit his head and neck on the door frame.

DPH found Apple Rehab committed what’s called immediate jeopardy meaning they failed to ensure Flynn was free from physical maltreatment from the resident after their altercation.

DPH also says the facility “failed to ensure the safety of others following the alleged incident of physical mistreatment and failed to thoroughly investigate an allegation of physical mistreatment.”

DPH investigators say the facility should have developed a comprehensive care plan for Flynn, because of his known hearing difficulties.

The report also found the facility failed to ensure nursing staff (licensed nurses and nurse aides) possessed the competencies and skill sets necessary to provide nurse care in a safe and competent manner, according to the report.

Flynn’s daughter is suing Apple Rehab, and the lawsuit claims staff knew the other resident had anger issues and was aggressive.

According to DPH’s report, Apple Rehab’s administrator says there had been no previous history of violence with the resident.

No criminal charges have been filed.

In a statement yesterday, an attorney for Apple Rehab denied any allegations in the lawsuit, saying “our position is that this case is in litigation and that we deny any and all allegations against Saybrook Health Care Center related to this matter.”

We reached out and are waiting to hear their response regarding the DPH report.

According to the report, following DPH’s visit, Apple Rehab submitted a removal plan and placed the resident in a private room, as well as gave him 1:1 monitoring and psychiatric services.

They also updated several policies.

You can read the entire report from the Department of Public Health below: