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Another Pittsburgh-area care facility hit with lawsuit for employing nurse accused of killing patients with insulin

Pittsburgh-area care facility faces lawsuit for employing nurse charged with killing patients
Pittsburgh-area care facility faces lawsuit for employing nurse charged with killing patients 01:50

BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) -- Another Pittsburgh-area care home that employed a nurse accused of killing patients with insulin is facing a wrongful death lawsuit. 

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Butler on behalf of the family of 43-year-old Nicholas Cymbol, who died on May 1 of last year. The lawsuit alleges Heather Pressdee, a unit manager at the time, injected the 43-year-old with an excessive and lethal dose of insulin. 

Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General

Heather Pressdee was charged last May with the deaths of two patients and the hospitalization of a third at Quality Life Services, a skilled nursing facility in Chicora. She is linked to at least 17 patient deaths at five other facilities where she worked. In each case, she's accused of giving the victims deadly levels of insulin. 

Before Pressdee was hired by Sunnyview, the lawsuit says she had been fired or forced to resign from ten local medical facilities in the span of four years. 

Other nurses confronted the Sunnyview administration with their concerns about Pressdee, but the nursing home allowed her to continue as unit manager, lawyers say. 

"We were hired by the families of Heather Pressdee's victims to get answers as to how she was permitted to continue working in these facilities, despite her erratic, disturbing, and abusive behavior," said Rob Peirce, the managing partner of Robert Peirce and Associates, the firm behind the lawsuit. "The more our office has investigated, the more questions we have as to why these facilities allowed these tragedies to occur."

The lawsuit also alleges Pressdee was particularly abusive to Cymbol. Other nurses said she routinely insulted, berated, bullied and abused the man, calling him gross and saying that he was going to be the next one to die anyway.

"And yet management did nothing to remove Heather Pressdee from caring for Mr. Cymbol or any other patients," Peirce said. 

The lawsuit against Sunnyview comes on the heels of two earlier this month against Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center on behalf of the families of 79-year-old Jack Rogers and 88-year-old Normal Hendrickson. Robert Peirce and Associates also filed a wrongful death lawsuit for the family of Marianne Bower in October. 

Pressdee is in the Butler County Jail, facing four counts of homicide. 

"The criminal system will put her in jail. I expect her to end up in jail for the rest of her life. The purpose of the civil lawsuit and what the families have asked us to do is to do anything we can to prevent this from happening again in the future," Peirce said. 

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