Family sues Firesteel nursing homeKroupas claim father received inadequate care at Firesteel; company denies allegations.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
The family of a former Kimball man who died in 2010 at Firesteel Healthcare Center in Mitchell is accusing the nursing home of neglect.
The five children of Edwin R. Kroupa — Marvin Kroupa, of Kimball; Robert Kroupa, of Pukwana; Greg Kroupa, of White Lake; Diane Kroupa, of Plymouth, Minn.; and Cheryl Younkin, of Arlington, Texas — are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Mitchell Healthcare LLC, also known as Mission Health Care LLC, doing business as Firesteel Healthcare Center. The suit was filed earlier this month in Davison County.
Edwin R. Kroupa was briefly a resident at Firesteel in September 2003, then was re-admitted in April 2007 and stayed until he died Sept. 18, 2010, court documents say.
During that time, Kroupa’s children allege their father was the victim of “recurrent negligence” while at Firesteel and that administrators and staff had “a conscious disregard for his rights and safety,” the complaint says. They accuse the nursing home of “deliberately not having adequate staff” to guarantee Kroupa’s safety.
“As a result, (Kroupa) suffered choking, suffocation, heart attack and death,” the complaint says. Kroupa’s children also allege staff at Firesteel should have known Kroupa was at a high risk of choking because he had no teeth, suffered from dementia and had trouble swallowing, the complaint says. They claim staff at the nursing home didn’t take “proper precautions” and failed to properly respond in an “emergency situation.”
The family is represented by attorneys Aaron D. Eiesland, of Rapid City, and Gale D. Pearson, of Minneapolis. They are asking for damages for the physical pain, as well as the mental and emotional distress Kroupa suffered as a result of the alleged negligence, and other damages for “funeral expenses, the loss of companionship, society, love, affection and solace.”
Firesteel filed an answer denying all the allegations and asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed.