Family of local veteran who died plans to sue Jacksonville nursing home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The family of a local veteran plans to sue a Jacksonville nursing home, after a Florida Department of Children and Families investigation found evidence his death was related to inadequate supervision and neglect.

UPDATE: Action News Jax Investigates state deficiencies found in Jacksonville Nursing homes

Tom Edwards, the attorney for York Spratling’s family, described the 86-year-old as an honorable man who died in an undignified way after a stay at Consulate Health Care in Jacksonville.

“They were not providing the care that they were being paid thousands of dollars a month to provide,” Edwards said.

Action News Jax obtained the DCF investigation into Spratling’s death.

The report says he developed an infection in his groin, which staff first documented on Feb. 16, 2017, but it wasn’t mentioned again until Feb. 21 – despite on nurse’s account that "you could smell it from the door."

According to the report, doctors diagnosed Spratling with gangrene and amputated his genitals. He died a short time later.

“Why this nursing home let this go on and didn’t react sooner is absolutely beyond reason,” Edwards said.

Investigators found evidence to support a finding that Spratling's death was related to inadequate supervision and medical neglect.

Action News Jax discovered previous problems reported at Consulate Health Care Jacksonville.

In 2015, health inspectors found staff wasn’t conducting required assessments of residents.

In 2016, reports show deficiencies in the number of required nursing staff.

“This is truly our hope and our prayer that this is going to change the way this nursing home is handling their patients,” Edwards said.

Edwards said the family does plan to sue.

We reached out to Consulate Health Care for comment and are waiting to hear back.

Last year, the Agency for Health Care Administration threatened to shut down 55 of the company's Florida facilities; Consulate Health Care worked out an agreement with the state to keep them open.

Consulate Health Care is the largest nursing home provider in Florida.

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